This cactus species is native to much of the central United States, from the Great Lakes region south to Texas and east to Georgia. For the uninitiated, it’s often surprising to see a cactus growing in the heartland, but grow it does. Given plenty of sun, it will tolerate heavier soils as well, as long as drainage is good, but is at its best in open savannas and oak barrens, where it will produce a creeping mat of green, prickly pads.

We offer vigorous, third-year plants, grown from seed and shipped bare root. These establish much more quickly than the commonly available pads. Please exercise caution when handling. In addition to the large, needle-like spins, this species has tiny micro-spines that detach with even the slightest touch. We think that hot dog tongs are the perfect instrument for manipulating prickly pear into place.

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