The numerous fruits on this Opuntia engelmannii var. linguiformis are now ripe and ready to eat if one is so inclined. This site provides all the information necessary for harvesting, however, the description of the harvesting process is far more complicated than need to be in my opinion. Their approach is better safe than sorry. Sorry means a mouthful, or handful, or noseful of glochids. Not a pleasant thing to be sure, so maybe their cautious approach is the best!
The O. engelmannii var. linguiformis is commonly called Cow’s Tongue Prickly Pear, and for those familiar with a bovine's tongue, it’s easy to see why. The elongated pads can grow to two feet long. This cactus can reach a height of 10 feet and spread out to 10 feet in width. It has yellow orange flowers in the spring, followed by the fruits, which ripen at the end of summer.
This species variation, found in the low elevation desert areas of Arizona and California, is native to a very specific (Bexar) county in Texas. This is somewhat unusual. As a rule, cacti have a larger native distribution area.