Opuntia humifusa

Common name: Eastern Prickly-pear

Native plant

People typically don't think of cactus when they think of native plants of Illinois, but we have one here for you! Eastern Prickly Pear is native to the sandier and rocky areas of the state. The spectacular flowers are lemon yellow and smell great. Bees love this plant. If you are not lucky enough to be in a sandy soil area, then you can use a planter with a well drained set-up. I have had one for years in the same pot.  Both the pads and the fruit are edible, just make sure you remove the spines first!


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Plant Details

Plant type


Soil type

Dry, Dry Mesic

Bloom period

Late Spring

Urban environment

Harsh Exposure Tolerant

Growth rate


Flower color



Mature height
6 Inches
Mature width
1 Feet
Max height
10 Inches
Max width
2 Feet

Additional information

Pollinator hot spot Edible fruit

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