Prickly pear cactus

Prickly pear cactus

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Prickly pear cactus:

The prickly pear, whose Latin name is opunzia ficus indica, is a succulent plant native to South America, now widespread in the wild even in most of the Mediterranean area.
It loves sunny, very bright locations, and a sandy and very well drained soil, devoid of water stagnation.
It is planted in the garden only in areas with mild winters: the plant bears temperatures even below zero, but only if it lives in a completely dry place during the winter.
So if we live in an area with harsh winters we can cultivate our opuntia in pots, or place it in an area where in winter it cannot receive rainwater.
The flowers are large, and give rise to edible fruits, covered by thin, sharp thorns.