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Opuntia engelmannii - Cactus Apple


This showy Prickly Pear blooms orange flowers and bears loads of delicious fruit. They taste like figgy strawberries and can be eaten chilled or made into syrup and candy. Cactus Apple isn't just another pretty face.

Cactus Apple grows 5' tall, blooms peach colored flowers in spring and fat burgundy fruits in late summer. They taste like figgy strawberries, are delicious chilled or made into treats. In Mexico, they're farmed as a crop and are as familiar as apples, as important economically as corn and tequila agave.

A single plant makes a spectacular showpiece. A row of them makes an effective fence.

Plant the seeds in late spring. Scarify the hard seed coat and soak seeds for a minimum of 24 hours in warm water, you should see the seed coats puff up, or swell. Surface sow, covering with a light layer of soil. Cover pot with plastic wrap and a rubber band to keep in heat and moisture. Place in a warm, sunny location, keep soil moist, but not soaking wet. Remove plastic wrap when you have seedlings. Cactus seeds are naturally slow to germinate.

10 seeds

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