can be yellow, pink or violet
1 to 2 ft.
1 to 3 ft.
western United States
USDA zones 5-11
Plains prickly pear is a low, spreading, grayish-green cactus with jointed pads that form wide clumps. Pads are covered with white to brown spines.
Plains prickly pear produces an abundance of many-petaled, showy flowers, which are frequently visited by native bees. Flowers can be yellow, pink or even violet. The flowers bloom in early summer and are followed by red fruits. Joints that touch the ground will root, and the older joints behind the new rooting die.
Prickly pear is widely distributed throughout the western US and can be stunning in the landscape.
At the Xeriscape Demonstration Garden, plains prickly pear has grown well in sunny areas. It needs very little water once established, but requires full sun to grow well.
No maintenance required. Occasionally debris needs to be removed from the spines. Stop watering in late summer to prevent freeze damage when winter arrives.