Opuntia humifusa (Eastern Prickly Pear)
The Prickly Pear is a low growing cactus, that typically grows in dry areas around here like Lake Michigan dunes or hill prairies. They are beautiful, particularly in areas like rock gardens. It is great to say "hey I have native cactus that lives here over the winter, want to see?" and you see people with a confused look :) They are native believe it or not and survive and thrive quite well.
They do however have very fine, almost fiber optic fine, spines, that when brushed, dislodge from the plant and stick into your skin and really are next to impossible to remove. These are not fun and need to be taken into consideration if you have pets, children, or any concerns.
Frequently Asked Questions
Photo of leaf and sand natural habitat by Evan Barker