Sunday, September 16, 2007

Bumper Crop


Opuntia engelmannii var. linguiformis


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.



19 comments:

farmingfriends said...

I can't believe that the fruit can be eaten. Have you ever tried them?
Sara from farmingfriends

RUTH said...

What a great looking plant. Love the red fruits...no doubt harvesting must be done very carefuly. I'll take a look at the links. Happy GTS

Julie said...

Oh you lucky (or should I say talented) girl!!! Will you eat them??? I have had my eye on ones around town here, but no red yet!!!
Julie

Laurie & Chris said...

They look like little strawberries. I'm not sure that I would eat them :)

kate said...

ow these fruits are spectacular. I love the colour of them. The plant itself must be huge. I'd love to see a picture of it.

chigiy at Gardeners Anonymous said...

A beautiful plant.
Have you ever eaten the fruit?

Mark said...

Hi Aiyana,
That has to be one of your best ones, it even has a Christmas feel to it with the colours.

Cheers Mark

nikkipolani said...

They are very refreshing - except when you manage to get one of those thorns on your tongue.... Great photo!

Drew said...

I wonder how those taste. That looks interesting and I would love to try some of those sometime, always looking for new tastes.

Jean said...

What a great picture! Love the red and green. I don't think I'd try it unless someone that really knew what they were doing harvested them!

galeria said...

they sell those in the market but never tried it.

nice colors!

Julie said...

Aiyana,

It was difficult to find info on my palm tree, but it looks like this is it:

This tree is known as the 'walking tree' because it can move. If the tree needs to move, it just grows roots on that side and lets other roots die. Eventually the tree is relocated.
I cannot find a scientific name.

maiylah said...

wow ... interesting!
would love to taste them!

Curtis said...

Such an interesting plant and the fruits look so neat. Like they have barbs on them.

Moe said...

I don't know why I am so intrigued by cacti, but I just love them, especially yours. Maybe it's because I can't grow them here and because your photos are always so crystal clear!

No Rain said...

Hi all,
I have tasted the fruits (pears) and they have a flavor similiar to not-quite-ripe watermelon. The pears and the pads of Prickly Pear can be found in grocery stores in areas with large Hispanic or Native American populations. Apparently the pads and pears have an ingredient that regulates blood sugar. There is on-going medical research that may eventually help those with blood sugar issues.

Julie said...

This is interesting regarding blood sugar regulation...will pass on to my mom since she has started to have some rise in hers. Wanted to tell you that you are BLOG OF THE DAY on the Cactus Blog, on Sundays post!
Julie

No Rain said...

Julie,
Thanks for letting my know about Cactus Blog. I check it out often, but now that I know, I'll pull it up right now!
See http://tinyurl.com/2hxp5d for info on prickly pear and blood sugar.

Anonymous said...

i love to eat these fruit!! They taste kinda like a cross between an pear and pomagranite. It is really messy and will stain bright red, But delicious!