Why are cactus prickly?

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The spines of the cactus are actually their leaves. They are so sharp and prickly to reduce the amount of surface area so they don't lose too much water in their native arid climates.
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How much sugar is found in one green prickly pear cactus fruit?

i wuld assume that there is about 14.8 of sugar in the green prickly pear.

What is the prickly pear cactus medicine used for?

Medicine derived from the prickly pear cactus is used for an amazing variety of purposes. There is genuine scientific research which backs the use of the prickly pear cactus, also known as nopal, as a natural treatment for diabetes and high blood cholesterol, as well as lipid disorders. Current research is continuing to check the efficacy of prickly pear medicine on the management and treatment of type II diabetes and hyperlipidemias. The prickly pear is also being researched for its effectiveness in the management and treatment of obesity, gastrointestinal disorders (particularly ulcers and inflammation of the intestines), skin ailments, and viral infections. The native Americans also used it to help soothe and treat burns. Modern consumers use it to treat sunburn and windburn. In years past, the Spanish explorers in Mexico used the fruit from the prickly pear to help cure scurvy, as it is rich in Vitamin C. To read more about the prickly pear cactus medicine's use, see the related link below.

What could the Prickly Pear cactus do if you stuck your finger into it?

If you stuck your finger into a prickly pear cactus, you could getstuck with one of the spines. You could also possibly be bitten bya spider who likes to make their webs in the prickly pear.

How do you transplant thornless prickly pear cactus?

I have a fairly large patch alongside my house. When I give pads to friends, I just break them off, and tell the friend to wait a day then stick it in the ground in a sunny spot and jump back. Did it myself this spring transplanting 56 pads to holes in concrete block bordering my garden (to keep critters away) and all but about 3 took and prospered. A few even bloomed

How do you kill ground cover prickly cactus?

Scrape the pears into a big pile and add dry molasses. You will have created one of the best composts. To prevent them from growing back, improve the soil with humate, compost, molasses and organic fertilizers (make sure you don't break bits off and leave them lying there - they WILL re-grow)

Where in Georgia do prickly pear cactus grow?

Prikly pear cactus grows througout the SouthEast USA where there is the right soil conditions and where it doesn't get too cold in winter. They would not grow in thick woods or areas covered with foilage. But they can grow in any pasture that has the right soil.

How do you kill prickly pear cactus?

pull it out by the roots. even like that it can still live, so cut up the roots and sements into multiple pieces

How do prickly pear cactus plants survive?

The main way by which the prickly pear cactus [ Opuntia spp ] survives is through growing low to the ground. It does so as a plant that sports prickly pads, or as one that has low branching arms. This particular growth pattern decreases the distance that drops of moisture travel from the plant's modified leaves to the ground, for intake by the plant's roots. It thereby decreases the time during which that precious moisture is exposed to the evaporation possibilities inherent in any interaction with the desert's bright, hot sunlight. This particular growth pattern also shades the ground immediately around and below the cactus. It cools the soil. Consequently, less encouragement is given to evaporation of water that's on or close to the soil surface. So the measure is a move that conserves water. Another important survival strategy is through growing jointed pads or branching arms . The joints may break off and fall to the ground, where they root and thereby form other prickly pear cactus plants. The result may be the formation of an entire community where once there was only one prickly pear cactus. Still another survival trick is through growing defensive body parts . The prickly pear cactus has modified leaves in the form of barbed spines on the pads, and bristled tufts on the branching arms. Either way, the spines and the bristles discourage predators. They also direct any available moisture - be it dew, fog or rain - to the ground, for intake by the plant's roots.

What is the life span of a prickly pear cactus?

A prickly pear cactus [Opuntia spp] has a short life expectancy. Its life span tends to be no more than 20 years . That puts it in the category of short lived cactuses.

What are the adaptations of prickly pear cactus plants?

One adaptation of the prickly pear cactus [ Opuntia spp ] is its closeness to the ground. This proximity means that little moisture is loss on the way from the plant's water channeling spines, to the ground, and into the cactus' roots. Another adaptation is its defense mechanism, in the intimidating aspect and the painful impact of its barbed spines and bristles. Still another adaptation is the flexibility of its stem. The stem moves, processes and stores water, nutrient solutions, and energizing photosynthetic products. It gets larger with greater amounts of stored supplies, and smaller with lesser. Yet another is the spreading, shallow, fibrous nature of its roots . A cactus' roots are most effective and efficient in aggressively seeking out and capturing available soil moisture.

How are prickly cactus adapted to its habitat?

cacti can store tons of water in their stem, and bacause they have a waxy outer coating, the water doesn't leak out. cacti also have really sharp needles to protect them from predators.

How can the prickly pear cactus be used?

Prickly pear cactus [ Opuntia spp ] can be used for artistic purposes , as models for paintings and pottery. It can be used for conservation of soil and of water. Its roots feed the underground soil food web, hold soil together, and identify sources of precious water. The cactus can be used for food . It has edible, flavorful berries. Its paddle like branches also can be eaten, peeled and boiled as Mexico's famous nopalitos. The cactus can be used for landscape interest . It gives color, scent, and shape to a bright, drab, dry, harsh, monotonous environment. The cactus can be used for money making endeavors . It's the host plant to cochineal insects [ Dactylopius coccus ] whose interaction yields a prized dye. And the cactus can be used for shade .

How do you tranplant prickly pear cactus?

\nHold a fold or two of newspaper like a pot holder, or partially wrap the cactus in newspaper to transplant to the new soil.

What is the scientific name for a prickly pear cactus?

Opuntia is the scientific name for the 200 species of prickly pear cacti. One of the other common names is paddle cactus. The noun Opuntia is the cactus' genus. The cactus' species varies according to which prickly pear cactus is under consideration. For example, Opuntia basilaris refers to the beaver tail cactus.

Is a prickly pear cactus a producer or consumer?

A prickly pear cactus is a producer because it produces its own food from inorganic substances. This goes for other plants as well.

How many inches does a prickly pear cactus grow per year?

3.9 inches every six months so that would be about 4.6 inch a year considering seasons.

How is the prickly pear cactus adapted to desert life?

The prickly pear cactus [ Opuntia spp ] is adapted to desert life because of its modified body parts and functions. For example, its thickened outer stem moves, processes, and stores nutrient solutions and photosynthetic products. The responsibility for storage tends to be taken up by the roots in many plants. But the cactus plants of the desert save on energy by having above ground all that's needed for the energizing food making interaction of photosynthesis with sunlight. Its spreading, shallow, fibrous roots anchor the plant in the ground, hold the soil together, and take in dissolved nutrients and water. Its modified leaves are in the form of long hairs to protect the stem from predators and the excesses of desert heat and light. The hairs also direct any moisture - in the form of dew, fog, or rainfall - to the ground, for adding to soil moisture levels and for intake by the plant's roots. Its colorful flowers attract pollinators, for the plant to have fruits and thereby seeds. The seeds drop naturally to the ground, or are spread by predatory birds and rodents.

How do you grow a prickly pear cactus from seed?

In fact, it is not recommended to try and grow prickly pear cactus ( Opuntia spp ) from seed . Specifically, this particular cactus responds best to being grown from stem sections . At the end of dormancy, the pad-like jointed stems need to be cut from the parent at a joint. One complete pad represents one complete cutting. The pad must be kept dry and warm for the cut to callus over. Then it needs to be planted in the smallest pot in which the section stands up without falling over. The pot needs to be filled one-third up with cactus potting mix and two-thirds up with small washed grit. The soil must be kept slightly damp and set in bright shade at 64-75 degrees F/18-24 degrees C. Roots usually appear within 3-12 weeks. But a rootless section may root later in the year if kept dry during the pad's next dormancy.

What eats the prickly pear cactus in the desert?

Rabbits, hares, rodents, tortoises, javelina, deer. pronghorns andseveral others dine on prickly pear pads and/or fruit. Humans, aswell, eat prickly pear.

Where do you find the prickly pear cactus?

The prickly pear cactus [Opuntia spp] is found in North and Latin America . It grows as far north as Canada. It grows as far south as Argentina and Chile. It's a desert cactus. So the niches in which it's found within its native range are those that tend to offer warmer, drier living conditions.

How do prickly pear cactus plants get energy?

The prickly pear cactus [ Opuntia spp ] gets its energy from photosynthesis . The photosynthetic interaction takes place between the plant and the sun. The sun supplies the necessary light, and the plant supplies the necessary dissolved nutrients. The result is energizing photosynthetic products.

What has happened to the eastern prickly pear cactus population?

Population decline is what has happened to the eastern prickly pear cactus [ Opuntia humifusa ]. The cactus favors a dry, open, sandy environment. Unfortunately, this is precisely the environment that attracts developers. The cactus plant's numbers keep falling due to threats to the survival of the species and to the availability of cherished habitats. For example, the plant lends itself easily to concealment and therefore massive collecting in the wild. In the way of another example, the plant's habitats are challenged by their attractiveness as recreational sites and residential developments. . Additionally, the plant's habitats are being visited more frequently by winter storms. Such storms contribute to shoreline erosion. The combination of storms, erosion, and development is influencing the course of natural succession. Woody plants are being introduced to hold the soil together, fight erosion, and attract residents and tourists. As is the case with any desert cactus, the eastern prickly pear isn't accustomed to being in close quarters with vegetative competitors.

Where did the prickly pear cactus originate?

The prickly pear cactus [ Opuntia spp ] originated in North America . Its native environment runs from central and western Mexico, northward through the United States of America, and into Canada. In the United States, its native range includes the desert southwest, the dry northwest, the drier low elevations of the Rocky Mountains, and the Great Plains. In Canada, the prickly pear cactus is found only in the province of Ontario, at Point Pelee National Park and on the southern tip of Pelee Island. . Additionally, the cactus is perceived as forming western populations, as identified above; and eastern populations, which include the Canadian locations, also identified above. In addition to southwestern Ontario, the eastern prickly pear population includes the eastern United States, from Wisconsin eastwards through New England, and southwards down through Texas and Florida.

Does the prickly pear cactus bloom once?

No, it blooms every season as long as it is healthy and has good growing conditions.

Genus of the cactus family comprising the prickly pear?

the prickly pear is the opuntia genus and the most popular one is opuntia ficus indica and that is the one that people eat the pads and the fruit which looks like a pear.

How do you tell the age of prickly pear cactus?

it depends how pointy the spikes are if its old and you touch it you will start to bleed if it is young you wont

How do you prepare prickly pear cactus to eat?

CAREFULLY! :P but seriously, take the fruits and be mindful of wearing gloves and cutting them on a surface you can easily clean ( like over a sink) cut off the skin with spikes being sure that none of the 'hairs' stick to the fruit. One the skin is taken off you can eat them.

What is Pancake Prickly Pear Cactus Adaptations?

It has turned the leaves into spikes to reduce water loss, and they also help for protection against predators. The circular pads collect water for use during droughts as there is often no water where they are situated. The roots are designed to absorb water and survive through very dry ground.

Is the Prickly Pear Cactus poisonous?

No, it is not: Native Americans have been using it for centuries (that we know of). Please click on the related link below for more info:

How does one use prickly pear cactus to treat cuts?

simply cut off a portion of a [peeled] pad, crush it, and squeeze the juice into the cut; the sap will soothe the wound

How does prickly pear cactus treat diabetes?

consuming 100 to 500 grams of cooked pads was beneficial in treating humans with diabetes. Results confirmed a drop of between 8 to 31% of blood glucose readings.

Is prickly pear cactus edible?

The pads and fruit of the prickly pear cactus are edible. The fruit can be peeled and eaten raw. However, many experts suggest that the fruit is best when it is made into candy, jelly, juice, or wine. It is also available dried or in extract form.

What country uses prickly pear cactus extensively?

An important part of the Mexican culture for centuries, prickly pear cactus is still being used there for medicinal and nutritional purposes.

What risks are involved with prickly pear cactus?

people taking drugs for diabetes, such as Actos, Avandia, Glyset, and Prandin, to name a few, should consult with their physician before adding nopal to their diets

What eats a pancake prickly pear cactus?

nobody that i know however i would like to give it a go, It sounds quite appetising LOL

Why was Tenochtitlan called The Place of the Fruit of the Prickly Pear Cactus?

The Aztecs named their capital Tenochtitlan which means "the place of the fruit of the prickly pear cactus",because this food was like a lake and this lake was in the middle of the old Mexico's.

Is the cactus angel wings similar to the cactus prickly pear?

they both are entirely different. . prickly pear : Slow growing. Mature plant reaching 2-5 feet in height by 2-3 feet in width. Full or part sun. Hardy to 15 degrees F. . angel wings : Fast growing. Mature plant reaching 10 feet in height with a 4 foot spread. Full or part sun. Hardy to 20 degrees F.

What does prickly pear cactus taste like?

Often tasting similar to watermelon, the fruit can be eaten raw and is delicious chilled. It is filled with little seeds, which account for its grainy texture.

What has prickly pear cactus been used for?

as an effective way to mark property lines, as well as a protective barrier against predators, both animal and human. In central Africa, the juice from the pads has long been considered an effective mosquito repellent.

What is prickly pear cactus?

A member of the Cactaceae (or cactus) family, prickly pear cactus, also known as nopal, grows in the United States, Mexico, and South America. It also flourishes in Africa, Australia, and the Mediterranean.

What is prickly pear cactus made of?

High in amino acids (building blocks of proteins and highly bioactive, generally), prickly pear cactus is said to be high in fiber, B vitamins, magnesium , and iron .

How should prickly pear cactus be handled?

Gloves should be worn when the pads and fruit are removed from the cactus. Even those varieties regarded as "spineless" have glochids, so beware.

What are the side effects of prickly pear cactus?

Adverse side effects such as mild bloating, diarrhea, headache , and nausea have been reported after consuming nopal.

Are prickly pear cactus found in the Sahara Desert?

Prickly pear cacti are natives of the American deserts and notfound naturally in the Sahara. Any prickly pear that might be foundthere had to have been planted by man. They quickly become anoxious invasive species becuase they have no natural enemies tocontrol them.

What eats a prickly pear cactus in a desert?

Some insects, small rodents, rabbits, hares, javelina, deer,bighorn sheep and pronghorns will occasionally eat prickly pear.

Where in Africa is the prickly pear cactus found?

Prickly pear cacti are not natives to Africa. They are strictly NewWorld species. If any prickly pear are in Africa they got therethrough the intervention of man and are not natural. They canquickly become a noxious invasive species.

Where is prickly pear cactus found?

Prickly pear cacti are found throughout nearly the entire UnitedStates bu are most common in arid and semiarid regions of the west.

Are there any flowers or fruits produced on a prickly pear cactus?

Yes, prickly pears produce both flowers and fruit. Many species have a fruit that is quite good to eat once the small microscopic spines (glochids) are removed.

Why is the prickly pear cactus Texas' state plant?

The prickly pear cactus was chosen as Texas's state plant because there are more than 4 species of cacti in the american southwest

What time of year does the prickly pear cactus grow?

The prickly pear grows the most during the summer when monsoon rains bring moisture to a region. They grow much slower during the drier months.