This cactus is blooming beside the drive-thru menu outside the barbecue restaurant where I order my sandwiches about once a week. The plants have been there as long as I can remember, and the restaurant is very old. The blossoms are lovely in the late spring. I always enjoy looking at them. The prickly pear cactus is native to Texas. I am certain that the American Indians must have named their loveliest daughters “Cactus Flower”.
Prickly Pear Cactus: The prickly pear cactus was designated the official plant symbol of Texas in 1995. Found in the deserts of the American southwest, the fruits of most prickly pear cacti are edible and have been a source of food to native Americans for thousands of years. Cacti in general, and the fruits in particular, are still staple foods for some residents of Mexico and Latin America, and the prickly pear cactus is raised commercially. The fruit is sold under the name “Tuna”; the branches or pads are eaten as a vegetable called “nopalito” or “nopales”.