Opuntia humifosa / Eastern Prickly Pear
Opuntia Humifosa has the largest range of any cactus in the U.S, and lucky hikers can find it growing on rocky outcrops here in the Hudson Valley. It is able to survive our freezing winter temps because it contains special antifreeze chemicals in its cells. Opuntia Humifosa is a low growing species that prefers dry, open areas and well drained soil. It blooms in early summer and produces 'fruit,' however every part of the plant is edible. Opuntia Humifosa has traditionally been a staple food source of many indigenous people for thousands of years. The Eastern Prickly Pear has a flavor profile similar to okra, and it also has medicinal properties - the pads and fruit are loaded with antioxidants and are known to lower blood sugar and improve digestive health.
Plant delivery is free within the City of Beacon. Deliveries outside the City of Beacon are by a $65/hour fee, which includes travel and placement of material.