Prickly Pear Cactus

Opuntia macrorhiza (Plains Prickly Pear)

Summer is here! So says the calendar, and so says our patch of Minnesota Native Cactus. Every year the Nursery’s outstanding colony of prickly pear cactus announces the coming of summer by going all out with an abundant floral display of bright yellow cactus blossoms! This lovely cactus is truly hardy, and native to our Minnesota prairie. It lends itself beautifully to rock gardens and hillsides, stone outcroppings and well drained garden beds. If you enjoy plants that double as a conversation starter, then look no further. A well-placed patch of prickly pear is certain to turn heads, create conversation and impress. As you might guess, native cactus requires full sun and well drained soil.  The new elongated growth emerges in spring from the thick, paddle shaped leaves. The spines on the new growth are soft and tender.  As they mature, they become the intimidating spines that deter critters like deer and rabbits, dogs and cats. It’s worth a visit simply to see this unique plant in bloom, announcing summer’s return to Northfield Minnesota and to Knecht’s Nurseries & Landscaping!

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