Author Topic: best type of prickly pear to grow in texas?  (Read 566 times)

tru

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best type of prickly pear to grow in texas?
« on: November 29, 2022, 10:47:18 AM »
Hi, I see prickly pear cacti planted EVERYWHERE but there are so many different varieties. Anyone have experience growing them? doesn't have to be TX but I know they grow very well here, thanks

elouicious

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Re: best type of prickly pear to grow in texas?
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2022, 11:02:54 AM »
Im curently growing a bunch of the collection from Bush2Beach

PCH#1
Honeydew
Papaya
Grant
Orange

Also got one from Pokeweed that is supposed to be great for nopales

Also a wild pad

Pokeweed

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Re: best type of prickly pear to grow in texas?
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2022, 07:05:12 AM »
We have wild ones all over our property. I need to make an effort to sample them, just haven't yet. I do have a selected variety that makes good nopales, but the fruit is only good for juicing. Pm me if you want some. D

tru

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Re: best type of prickly pear to grow in texas?
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2022, 08:41:23 AM »
thanks so much to both of yall!

FloridaManDan

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Re: best type of prickly pear to grow in texas?
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2022, 09:15:44 AM »
Just finished rooting a bunch of spineless prickly pear aka south texas prickly pear (Opuntia ellisiana) pads. I say this one because it produces a solid standard prickly pear fruit, and you don't have a million spines to worry about; glochids still present, but smaller.  Good if you have animals to worry about on the property.

JCorte

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Re: best type of prickly pear to grow in texas?
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2022, 10:21:15 AM »
Hi Tru,

Fruitwood nursery has a lot of prickly pear cactus selected for zone 8-10.  The pieces they send to start are pretty small compared to the huge pads Bush2Beach sends, but all of them have grown for me.  They run out, but just put yourself on their waiting list if you're interested in any of them.
https://www.fruitwoodnursery.com/cacti-and-succulents/prickly-pear

I am trialing most of them but they have not fruited for me yet.  'Papaya' I got from Jonah fruited within a year in a container and the taste was sweet and did taste like papaya to me and I liked it a lot. 

Our orchard we bought this year has huge established plants and there are 2 different fruits that I love, I wish there were less seeds.  We also have plants that are really thin and seem to be spineless that I think was grown specifically for nopales.

I bought 2 different varieties from Pete Kanaris that seem to be great for nopales, but I haven't tasted them yet.

In a another thread, I saw a post by Nullzero, where he mentioned opuntia subarmata was great for nopales, so I'm trialing that as well. 

Janet

tru

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Re: best type of prickly pear to grow in texas?
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2022, 10:39:53 AM »
Thank you! I've had prickly pear but never the pads, how would you describe the taste? I read that they taste like a 'tart vegetable' and can't really wrap my mind around that  :D

Galatians522

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Re: best type of prickly pear to grow in texas?
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2022, 03:31:30 PM »
Thank you! I've had prickly pear but never the pads, how would you describe the taste? I read that they taste like a 'tart vegetable' and can't really wrap my mind around that  :D

The fresh ones I've eaten have a green bean/bell pepperish flavor with the texture of overcooked okra. The pickled kind was sour and not slimy.

tru

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Re: best type of prickly pear to grow in texas?
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2022, 06:51:48 PM »
interesting, sounds like pickled is the way to go. thanks ;D

JCorte

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Re: best type of prickly pear to grow in texas?
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2022, 08:36:55 PM »
Hi Tru, there are different techniques to remove the mucilanginous texture.  In the past I've had it in tacos where the pads were grilled and nopales salad with it pickled.  I liked both but don't remember the details of the taste of just the nopales.  I'm pretty sure texture in the grilled was fine.

This is the first time I've had access to my own plants to harvest so I bought a prickly pear cactus cookbook to try a bunch of recipes.  I would imagine the young pads would have a better texture and flavor.  Waiting for new growth to experiment.  I like okra tempura so thinking nopales cut into strips and made tempura style would be tasty.  I remember reading in a blog where they cut in strips, boiled it, rinse and drained, then dehydrated it to add to soups and stews.

Hoping this will be a staple vegetable for me since it grows effortlessly in our climate and is drought tolerant.  It was very challenging this year growing annual vegetables with all the rabbits, gophers, and ground squirrels.

Janet

Pokeweed

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Re: best type of prickly pear to grow in texas?
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2022, 07:25:51 AM »
It is very healthful as well. Lowers high blood sugar and promotes circulation. Tru - if there is a taqueria around you and I'm sure there is, they should have nopale they can put on tacos so you can try it. D

tru

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Re: best type of prickly pear to grow in texas?
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2022, 08:09:08 AM »
probably best to try it from someone that knows what they're doing :) great idea! And Janet, I've noticed a similar situation with pests here; had to take my birdfeeder down that's been in the same location for 5+ years with no issues, because too many squirrels decided they should rely on it : /

I guess COVID did wonders for the environment, but damn. thanks for the tips!
« Last Edit: December 01, 2022, 09:04:45 AM by tru »

GrowerA

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Re: best type of prickly pear to grow in texas?
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2022, 11:11:16 PM »
I am in California Zone 9. Just share some information. Not sure if they do well in your area.  I did some hunting for the best varieties to grow, and I came across many varieties with large fruits.  The one with letter A made it to my list ,but I only got seeds and have some seedlings in my collection.  The other 2  show plants without fruit are also made it to my list they are orange red and one with deep orange (not the same as the one plant with yellow /orange) large fruit. None of them has ID








Pokeweed

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Re: best type of prickly pear to grow in texas?
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2022, 07:09:49 AM »
Good job growerA! How do they taste? Are the seeds soft? D

GrowerA

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Re: best type of prickly pear to grow in texas?
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2022, 10:08:45 PM »
Thank you. They were sweet, but the one did not make it to my list because it has less flesh and spongy. All have seeds. Some have flat seeds but not type of flat seed that you can chew. Is it flat seed of what you mean by soft seed?

Pokeweed

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Re: best type of prickly pear to grow in texas?
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2022, 07:52:11 AM »
Some have round seeds and some flatter. I've had round seeded types that were soft enough that you could just chew the seeds with the pulp. Others  will break teeth. D

mangomike

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Re: best type of prickly pear to grow in texas?
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2022, 03:38:39 PM »
Elouicious,

I have just gotten Papaya, Honeydew and PCH from bush2beach but have not heard of Grant and Orange; would you have pads of them for sale?

 

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