Native plants for wetlands, fields or forests and an eclectic mix of other botanic delights

Opuntia humifusa

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In Stock
Eastern Prickly Pear
Nice accent plant for drier locations
Mature Size:
' Height /
' Spread
Expected Size:
Light Preference:
Full Sun
Soil Preference:
Dry (Xeric)
$12.50/1 qt.; larger specimens sometimes available
$10.50/1 qt.

Prickly Pear is intolerant of shade. It thrives in full sun in hot and dry environments and needs well-drained soil. Opuntia humifusa will grow in open or exposed areas in rocky or coastal scrub habits as well as at elevations where winter is hardy.  The species ranges from the more arid areas of Montana southward to New Mexico scrub lands, and eastward to the lower Great Lakes, and to the eastern seaboard from the Florida Keys to coastal Connecticut and Long Island, NY.

As is the case in other Opuntia species, the green stems of this low-growing perennial cactus are flattened, and are formed of segments. Barbed bristles are found around the surfaces of the segments, and longer spines are sometimes present.  The flowers are yellow to gold in color, and are found along the margins of mature segments. The flowers are waxy and sometimes have red centers. They measure 4–6 cm across. It blooms in the late spring.

The juicy and edible red fruits measure from 3–5 cm. As the fruit matures, it changes color from green to red, and often remains on the cactus until the following spring. There are 6 to 33 small, flat, light-colored seeds in each fruit.

Some botanists treat this cactus as a variety of Opuntia compressa: hence Opuntia compressa var. humifusa. Ours are the spine-free variety, that have only glochids (tiny bundles of pricklesat the aureoles)

It makes a great statemnet plant for the rock garden or that special place where you would like a small but interesting conversation piece. If left to grow it will form a large, prostrate specimen.

We also carry a few specimens of Opuntia tortispina with long spines.

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Prices listed are subject to change, based upon size change and availability.

We are a small local nursery with limited shipping capability. We will do our best to ship smaller material (usually 1 or 2 gallon), although we can sometimes ship larger plants with the pots removed.

We have some species that are not listed, as we have too few of them to make a full listing plausible. You can always inquire.

We will consider contract growing an order with appropriate advance notice and availability of seed, cuttings or lining out stock.

Winter Business Hours
By Appointment
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Kollar Nursery | 5200 West Heaps Road, Pylesville, MD 21132 | 410.836.0500
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