Scientific Name: 
Opuntia spp.

Common Name: 
Cactus, Prickly Pear, Cholla, Indian Fig


How is this plant unsafe?

How do you plant safely?


  • Problematic because of their obvious spines.
  • They also have glochids which are tiny spines that are not obvious but can be very painful if you are poked by them or brush up against them and they become embedded in your skin.
  • Wear two pairs of gloves when working with this plant or gloves lined with kevlar or other similar protective lining.
  • Be sure to pick up loose pieces of this plant and do not allow children to play barefoot anywhere near these kinds of plants.
  • Wear protective clothing when working with this plant, such as long sleeves, long pants, gloves, sturdy shoes and eye protection.
  • Supervise pets and children playing near this plant.
  • Note how large the plant grows and plant it a safe distance away from sidewalks and paths.
  • There are many species, cultivars and varieties of this plant available in the nursery trade, caution should be used with all types. Some varieties can grow over 30 feet tall and ten feet wide.