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.
I know those things! Grew up with them. And my poor sister had one thrown at her (not by me!) and she had two of those long thorns go right through a cheek and out through her mouth. Horrible! No doctors where we were and Dad and Mom worked to get it out, with success. I had to run down the road to get away from her screaming, I felt so bad for her. Needless to say, sister was sore in the face for a while but, no consequences from the experience.
My gosh. Poor girl.
The worst thing I ever threw at a girl was a rotten orange.
I've had quite a few encounters with these ferocious beasts, and each one involved not-so-nice words and contorted faces…
They seem to be all over the place at Highlands Hammock. Which now that I'm on the subject, Highlands Hammock has giant wild sour orange trees growing all throughout the park–and if you go on the right day they've got sour orange ice cream made fresh! It's definitely worth a camping trip or two.