This has to be the most vicious “prickly pear” I’ve ever seen.
I found quite a few specimens of this long-spined variety while hiking in Frostproof last weekend. I’ll post more on that soon.
So far as I know, all the Opuntia (pad cactus) species are edible, though this one would give you quite a hard time. The spines were almost 3″ long.
You know, I would’ve taken a few pads and brought them home to add to my collection of cactus but I was too scared.
Now I wish I had. Look how cool that thing looks.