Carolina Prickly-pear is extremely rare. There are only three known populations of this species in the wild, all in SC. Producing bluish pads and yellow flowers and purple fruits on plants which can grow at least 5′ tall and wide, it is our most dramatic native cactus. Described and named by Gibbes in 1859, later botanists lumped it and the Carolinas numerous other species of cacti into two species. It has only been resurrected as a valid species and rediscovered in the wild in the last few years. Bees love to bury themselves among the numerous stamens of the flowers. Birds and small mammals love the fruit. Both the fruit and the pads are edible for humans as well. The pads have also been used medicinally. Plant in full sun and well drained soil. Occurring in sand dunes, it is tolerant of high calcium soils, salt wind and occasional salt flooding. I have never seen deer damage on cacti, on my property, in my client’s gardens or in the wild. These were propagated from native populations in SC.
|Dimensions||15 × 15 × 27 in|