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Texas prickly pear, Opuntia engelmannii var. Lindheimeri

Texas prickly pear, Opuntia engelmannii var. Lindheimeri

The predominant cactus in the southern part of our state is Texas prickly pear. Its pads (nopales) are up to 1 foot long and are profusely covered with 2-inch spines. The yellow flowers are sometimes marked with orange or red at the base of the petals. This Opuntia has a fascinating host-guest relationship with cochineal scale insects, a source of red dye. Cochineal dye became a valuable export among Spaniards in the New World and was second in importance only to gold. Texas prickly pear is found abundantly throughout Comal County.

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Lindheimer’s Texas Partners: Sophienburg Museum and ArchivesHumanities TexasNative Plant Society of TexasMissouri Botanical GardenNew Braunfels Heritage VillageNew Braunfels Conservation SocietyNew Braunfels Independent School District