Friday, December 21, 2007

Cow's Tongue Prickly Pear


Opuntia engelmannii var. linguiformis


A common sight in Arizona gardens is the Cow's Tongue Prickly Pear. Folks like this cactus because of the unusual shape of the pads, which strongly resemble a cow's tongue. It can grow quite large--ten feet tall and wide. It takes little water, and has yellow or orange flowers in the spring that form along the margins of the pads, followed by numerous red fruits as seen in a previous post.

The downside of this cactus (or any Prickly Pear for that matter) is that after it matures, it displays a woody trunk that takes away from its attractiveness. One way to hide the trunk is to plant wildflowers near it.


5 comments:

Moe said...

Another beautiful cactus!

My sister-in-law lives in the Phoenix area and when she comes to visit she brings "Prickly Pear Jelly." I eat it with peanut butter :) I always thought maybe it was a joke, but now I see it is actually the jam from the flower from the actual Prickly Pear cactus!!

kate said...

I like the shape of the pads on this plant.

The number of plants in your garden amazes me - I wonder what you have planned to write about once you have recorded them all.

I'm impressed that you can blog every day month after month.

No Rain said...

Hi Kate,
I've gone through the majority of my plants with my daily blogging. When I finish that task, I'm counting on some neat spring cactus flowers to bail me out of blogging limbo! I suppose I could always space out the posts and make my dwindling garden inventory last longer, but I probably won't.

Pam/Digging said...

It's amazing how many varieties of prickly pear there are. I'm particularly enjoying my 'Santa Rita' right now. The cooler weather has brought out that deep-purple color.

Julie said...

I LOVE THE SHAPE OF THESE PADS! Cool. The wildflower idea is great...i bet it looks so beautiful that way!