Thursday, April 10, 2008

Opuntia ficus-indica Flower


Unlike the family cactus, which has never produced flowers, the Opuntia Ficus-Indica (Indian Fig) in the photo produced a few buds and the first flower bloomed today. One of my sister's friends gave me an Opuntia pad two years ago, and it has grown from that first small pad into a plant four feet high with many pads. O. ficus-indica flowers can range from predominately yellow-to-yellow-orange. Since most of the other Opuntia species in my garden have yellow flowers, this orangey color is a welcome change.


In a couple of weeks, pears will grow from the spent flowers. They will be green at first, and gradually ripen to red. I'll know they are ripe when native birds start hanging around the cactus. Since this is the first flower on this cactus, I think I'll celebrate by doing something with the fruit when it's ripe. Prickly Pear Vinaigrette sounds good.


2 prickly pears
1/2 banana

2 tbsp. honey

1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lemon and 1/2 lime


Slice open prickly pear and scoop out contents. Place in blender with banana. Add the honey, vinegar, lemon, and lime juices and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Add more vinegar for tartness, or more honey for sweetness. Thin with more banana if necessary, or if too thick, add some of apple juice. Strain through a fine sieve before serving.

13 comments:

GardenJoy4Me said...

Hi Aiyana .. what a pretty flower on this cactus. It sounds like it grew very well for you quickly ? .. and the recip .. you have me curious as to how it must taste !
Joy

Nancy J. Bond said...

The bloom is beautiful, and the recipe sounds delicious!

nikkipolani said...

Aiyana, the flower is stunning! I hope you will show the pear when it comes. I've tasted greenish prickly pear and have seen the redder kind - are there many differences?

The Gardeness said...

Cactus flowers are always so beautiful. We were in Phoenix last month for spring training. It was wonderful to see such a different variety of plant life.

beckie said...

What a beautiful flower! And a very interesting recipe. Let us see the ripening fruit.

mr_subjunctive said...

FYI --

The googly-eyed cactus video is back. YouTube took their copy down, but NBC has posted its own. The down side is there's an ad to sit through. Link

Cheryl said...

What a stunning flower, beautiful colours. Then you get a pear which you can use for a recipe. Amazing.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Great post. Thanks for the recipe.~~Dee

Julie said...

Oh that sounds like fun to make...maybe I will pick up some cactus pears at the market and give it a shot as well...sounds really refreshing and delish!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Although I'm not so keen on cacti I've found that I do like their flowers very much and their fruits too. Unfortunately it's not very often that I can buy the fruits here.

No Rain said...

I'll take a photo of the pear when it ripens this summer. Maybe I'll even show the Vinaigrette! You'll just have to imagine the taste, though.

kate smudges said...

I love the colour of this flower. The vinaigrette sounds interesting - now to imagine its taste!

Curtis said...

When I first started growing cacti, I never knew there were so many cacti and beautiful flowers.

From reading this blog, I am thinking differently now.

Show that pear who's boss!