Sweet Prickly Pear

© Louise Brodie

Name

Sweet Prickly Pear

Latin Name

Opuntia ficus-indica

Description

The sweet prickly pear is succulent that grows paddle-shaped stems covered in sharp spines. This leafless plant is also an alien indigenous to South America. It bears edible plum-shaped spiny fruits.

Habitat

The sweet prickly pear can be found all over South Africa.

Field Notes

The sweet prickly pear is an alien plant in South Africa, after being imported from Mexico. It was used as a barricade and feed for livestock by farmers.

The fruit it bears is used to make a variety of sweet product such as jams and drinks. In the wild, many are trying to get rid of it, as it is a pest to the natural environment.