Did You Know Prickly Pear Cactus Grow Wild in Minnesota?
I self-identify as a crazy cactus lady. I flippin' love cacti. When I go to Arizona you will catch me taking photos of cactus, looking at cactus, admiring them. And then I buy kits to bring home to grow my own. I love these things.
So you can imagine my excitement when I found that one of my favorite cactus types is native to Minnesota. That would be a version of the prickly pear cactus (pictured above from my most recent trip to Phoenix) and you can find it mainly in southern Minnesota.
The StarTribune did a write up on the cacti species that call our state home back in 2016:
The brittle prickly pear is a plant of the southwest part of the state found in rocky places and on dry prairies. The much more common species, the western prickly pear, grows in open rocky spots and on prairies in southern and western Minnesota, and throughout the central United States.
The western prickly pear can grow to be close to a foot tall, and its defining features are broad and flat growths, that bloom yellow flowers from late June to early July. These plants can for "mats" on the ground that can be up to 5 feet across.
If you want to add these gorgeous plants to your garden or yard, Minnesota Wildflowers shared some good news for those of us lacking green thumbs:
It will thrive in any hot summer location, from clay to sandy soils, as long as site is hot and well drained. New starts are easy—just cut off and root a year old pad, any time of year. It also germinates readily from seed though maturation period is numbers of years.
Seems simple enough, anyone have a year-old pad of a prickly pear I can have to start my own patch?
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