Nopalea cochenillifera

     Thought to originate in Mexico or Central America, Nopalea cochenillifera is a thin paddled tree like cactus to 12 feet tall. It is nearly spineless and used as cattle fodder and also some Mexican dishes. It has pink flowers and red edible fruits.
     This was an alley find. It will go in the garden next year. Below is a mature plant growing in shade at Tucson Botanical Gardens and a flower pick by Geoff Stein. Geoff is a fellow member of the Davesgarden.com gardening forums and allows me to use his pictures. Thanks Geoff :-) Also check out a gallery of Geoffs other pics in the Galleries/Friends section.

by Geoff
A mature plant
at TBG
All images and text are copyright 2006-7 D.S. Franges, unless otherwise noted