Alphabetical Plant Listing

Opuntia humifusa (Eastern Prickly Pear)

Eastern Prickly Pear, Devil's Tongue, Low Prickly Pear, Opuntia compressa, Opuntia mesacantha, Opuntia italica, Opuntia rafinesquei, Opuntia fuscoatra


Widely found in the eastern United States, Opuntia humifusa (Eastern Prickly Pear) is a clump-forming succulent shrub with round-to-oval, fleshy, purple-tinged, green pads, up to 10 in. across (25 cm). Covered with clusters of reddish-brown, barbed bristles, the pads are scattered with needle-like spines. In summer, this cactus puts out some of the most striking flowers. Bright yellow, sometimes with a reddish heart, the large, waxy blossoms, 3 in. wide (7 cm), count up to 8-12 yellow rays and are adorned with a bushy clump of yellow center stamens. Attractive to a myriad of pollinator species, they are followed by bright red fruits that are almost as pretty as the flowers. Edible, they are most often used to make candies and jams. Frost hardy, Opuntia humifusa is a very decorative cactus which adds beauty to the garden year-round.

  • Typically grows up to 6-12 in. tall (15-30 cm) and 12-18 in. wide (30-45 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun in sandy or gravelly, dry, well-drained soils. This plant tolerates a wide variety of soils as long as they are well-draining. Drought tolerant once established.
  • This low-maintenance plant is a great choice for xeriscape gardens, rock gardens, sandy slopes, Mediterranean gardens and desert gardens.
  • This remarkable plant is deer resistant and is easy to care for.
  • Generally disease-free.
  • Propagate from woody stem cuttings or from seed.
  • Native to the United States.

Not sure which Opuntia to pick?
Compare All Opuntia

Buy Opuntia humifusa (Eastern Prickly Pear)

Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 9
Heat Zones 9 – 11
Plant Type Cactus - Succulents
Plant Family Opuntia
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 6" – 1' (15cm – 30cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden

Buy Plants

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Opuntia

Guides with Opuntia


captiva55 / 123RF Stock Photo, (c) Gerhard Bock, SucculentsandMore.com

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 9
Heat Zones 9 – 11
Plant Type Cactus - Succulents
Plant Family Opuntia
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 6" – 1' (15cm – 30cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Banks and Slopes, Beds and Borders
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Opuntia

Guides with Opuntia

Plant Calculator

How many Opuntia humifusa (Eastern Prickly Pear) do I need for my garden?

%
ft
ft

Your Shopping List

Plant Quantity
Opuntia humifusa (Eastern Prickly Pear)

Find your Hardiness Zone

Find your Climate Zone

Find your Heat Zone

Join Gardenia.net

Create a membership account to save your garden designs and to view them on any device.

Becoming a contributing member of Gardenia is easy and can be done in just a few minutes. If you provide us with your name, email address and the payment of a modest $25 annual membership fee, you will become a full member, enabling you to design and save up to 25 of your garden design ideas.

Join now and start creating your dream garden!

Create a New Collection

Optional. For your reference.


Move Selected Plants to a Different Collection


Delete Collection

This field is required.