Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Prickly Pear Cactus

Most people are surprised to know that Prickly Pear Cactus grows in Iowa. Not only grows but thrives. It is aptly named, the stickers are wicked! I have an old pair of leather gloves that are only used to weed the cactus bed and I am still picking stickers out of my hands for days. They are will be in full bloom soon.

I always say I am going to use the fruit to make jelly but that has not happened yet, probably won't this year either.

My hubby has been working on another raised flower bed, this is a smaller one, I think I will put a couple of climbing roses in it, there is a fenced directly behind the new bed. I have not grown climbing roses in years, I am hoping there are some new varieties that survive our Iowa winters better.


Blackswamp_Girl said...

Those are so lush and full! I love them, but I would hate to weed them. I'm glad that you have sturdy gloves.

Carol said...

I have some prickly pear cactus in Indiana... another common name is "devil's tongue". I use pliers to thin them out because you are right, those stickers are wicked and tough to pick out of your hands! But the bloom is worth it, as is the novelty of having cactus where is snows.

Sally said...

I was surprised when I first learned that these cacti can survive Iowa's winters. I hope you give us a shot of their blooms.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Carol, I have not heard them called devil's tongue but it is appropriate!

Sally, I will take pictures when they are in full bloom, you can count on it :).

Thanks for stopping by.

Connie Peterson said...

Eeuuwww! We had them in South Dakota (well, they are still there, but we aren't) ... my feet remember them, even after 25 years! They grew all around our house - in fact I was just re-reading the 'chapter' in my book I'm writing about catcti and my feet started hurting!

Ki said...

A pretty tough plant to survive -20 degrees. I have not tried nopales but if they taste anything like aloe vera, yuck. I've eaten the red fruit straight off the plant when I was a kid, a long time ago. Tasted of strawberries and something else. It was warm from the sun so didn't taste very good. Maybe if it were refrigerated and cut up it would be better.