Which prickly pear for fruit?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Cygnet, May 31, 2004.

  1. Cygnet

    Cygnet Guest

    Anyone know which prickly pear I should plant for the best yield? I *love* prickly pear fruit and nopalinos, but I'm not actually sure which variety is best to plant. I'm S. of Phoenix, so it's the right climate, of course. :)

  2. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

    Mar 21, 2004
    deep south texas
    Her in s texas they mainone used is a spineless one though you can use anyone of the catus ,of the pear family .

  3. Cygnet

    Cygnet Guest

    Thanks James.

    I know with pricklies, there is a difference in both fruit yeild and flavor depending on which one you use. Sort've like the difference between apple varieties. And there are specific varieties that have been bred historically for garden use; they tend to be a bit better, uh, mannered than the wild types in addition to having more fruit.

    Any idea what the scientific name is? THere are lots of spineless type pricklies, local names vary. (So do the scientific names sometimes, *L*, but at least that gives me a better lead.)

  4. Found some information, as this is something that I need to consider for my desert property.

    Prickly Pear Cactus, Spineless Opuntia spp., syn. Nopalea opuntia
    The pads of this cactus species are a popular vegetable in Mexico. Although spineless, the small brown prickly patches called "glochids" on the pads must carefully be peeled off, plants should be transplanted at least 4' apart as they will eventually become quite large, over 20' tall.

    http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1996/v3-446.html#Table 1
    The cultivars reported in Table 1 are the most well known and marketed. Six of them 'Reyna', 'Cristalina', 'Naranjona', 'Chapeada', 'Amarilla Montesa', and 'Roja Pelona' share about 90% of production.

    Might also consider this columnar cacti, Cereus peruvianus, the fruits are smooth and totally spineless. The fruits are medium in size, and vary in skin color from yellow to red with various hues. Flesh is white and aromatic with a delicate sour/sweet taste. Black seeds are embedded in the flesh, but are soft and edible reminiscent of kiwifruit seeds (Fig. 4). http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/ncnu02/v5-378.html