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Prickly Pear, Barbary Fig

Opuntia ficus-indica var. decumana

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Opuntia (op-UN-shee-a) (Info)
Species: ficus-indica var. decumana
Additional cultivar information:(Elongated Form)
Synonym:Opuntia elongata
Synonym:Opuntia maxima
Synonym:Opuntia decumana
Synonym:Opuntia gymnocarpa
Synonym:Opuntia labouretiana




Cactus and Succulents

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:



Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

From softwood cuttings

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Chandler Heights, Arizona

Green Valley, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Yucca, Arizona

El Macero, California

San Leandro, California

Jonesville, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 23, 2012, martenfisher from Crystal River, FL wrote:

I grow at this time 6 varieties of Opuntia ficus-indica. All of my varieties are hertiage varieties dating back hundreds to a couple thousand years. Ficus-indica is a hybrid grown from many Opuntia species. Some varieties were developed in certain locations for different qualities. Not all Opuntia ficus-indica are created equal. I have never had freeze or pest issues and with pruning constant new growth grows. I have some that fruit with very little seed content. My next variety will be the Burbank spineless. This name is constantly used for plants not Burbank but I located true Burbank. He did also work with other species as well. There is a variegated form called " Sunburst".


On Sep 10, 2011, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

This variety or form of O. ficus-indica has elongated cladodes (pads) and is just as edible as the regular O. ficus-indica.

Other synonyms of this plant are: Opuntia lanceolata, Cactus elongatus, Cactus decumanus, Opuntia ficus-indica var. gymnocarpa.


On Feb 27, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Nearly spineless and very neat and attractive Opuntia variety. Great for landscaping and not too dangerous. Not sure what the cold hardiness is. Nice pale sea-green color.