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Products > Opuntia ficus-indica 'Burbank Spineless'
Opuntia ficus-indica 'Burbank Spineless' - Nopal
Image of Opuntia ficus-indica 'Burbank Spineless'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Cactaceae (Cactus)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Height: 10-12 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Opuntia ficus-indica 'Burbank Spineless' (Nopal) - A nearly spineless variety of shrubby cactus that grows to 6 feet tall with branches bearing many oblong 1 foot long thick bluish-green thick pads. In spring and early summer appear the 4 inch orange-yellow flowers along the edges at the tips of the pads. The flowers produce edible pear-shaped fleshy reddish-purple fruits (tunas) whose taste has been likened to watermelon. The pads are cooked and eaten as well and called "nopales" or "nopalitos". Plant in full sun. This is a very drought tolerant plant and is hardy to below 20 F. The native habitat for this Opuntia is not known and as it has been in cultivation for many years it is now found in locations all over the world. From seed received from South America Luther Burbank grew and hybridized Opuntia in the early part of the 1900s for use as cattle fodder. Unfortunately cattle did not find it that palatable but the plant has remained in cultivation as an ornamental and for human consumption. Our thanks to Bob Hornback for the stock on this great old cactus. 

This information about Opuntia ficus-indica 'Burbank Spineless' displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.