Monday, August 2, 2010

Prickly Pear Cactus

Prickly Pear Cactus, Mamillaria, is an unmistakable plant that grows throughout the Rocky Mountain region. We saw some flowering on our hike the other day. Pin Cushion cactus are supposed to be the better tasting of these two common cacti. I wonder how difficult they are to cultivate?

In Terry Willard's Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Rocky Mountain Region and Neighbouring Territories, he explains, "The pulp of the cacti can be eaten if you overcome the problem of the spines. One solution is to remove the spines by burning them off. The other is to split them in two, eating the insides." Of course, he also reminds us to make sure the cacti you we about to consume are not protected or rare. They're almost too pretty to eat if you ask me!

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