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Prickly Pear Cactus

Prickly Pear Cactus
Photo Information
Copyright: Jane Magen (jaycee) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
Genre: Plants
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-09-21
Categories: Desert
Camera: Canon SX10IS
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/320 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2010-09-23 8:07
Viewed: 3881
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Prickly pear cactus represent about a dozen species of the Opuntia genus (Family Cactaceae) in the North American deserts. All have flat, fleshy pads that look like large leaves. The pads are actually modified branches or stems that serve several functions -- water storage, photosynthesis and flower production.

Like other cactus, most prickly pears and chollas have large spines -- actually modified leaves -- growing from tubercles -- small, wart-like projections -- on their stems. But members of the Opuntia genus are unique because of their clusters of fine, tiny, barbed spines called glochids. Found just above the cluster of regular spines, glochids are yellow or red in color and detach easily from the pads. Glochids are often difficult to see and more difficult to remove, once lodged in the skin.

The fruits of most prickly pears are edible and sold in stores under the name "tuna." Prickly pear branches (the pads) are also cooked and eaten as a vegetable. They, too, are sold in stores under the name "Nopalito." Because of the glochids, great care is required when harvesting or preparing prickly pear cactus. Both fruits and pads of the prickly pear cactus are rich in slowly absorbed soluble fibers that may help keep blood sugar stable. Prickly Pear Nectar is made with the juice and pulp of the fruits.

Most prickly pear cactus have yellow, red or purple flowers, even among the same species. They vary in height from less than a foot (Plains, Hedgehog, Tuberous) to 6 or 7 feet (Texas, Santa Rita, Pancake). Pads can vary in width, length, shape and color. The Beavertail, Santa Rita and Blind Pear are regarded as spineless, but all have glochids.

There has been medical interest in the Prickly Pear plant. Some studies have shown that the pectin contained in the Prickly Pear pulp lowers levels of "bad" cholesterol while leaving "good" cholesterol levels unchanged. Another study found that the fibrous pectin in the fruit may lowers diabetics' need for insulin. Both fruits and pads of the prickly pear cactus are rich in slowly absorbed soluble fibers that help keep blood sugar stable. There are on going studies and at this point there are no proven results on humans.

Dis. Ac., eng55, matatur, goldyrs, tuslaw, Hormon_Manyer, jusninasirun, Alex99, Argus has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Jane,

we are agin neighbours and both with plants.
Good pov and details.Razor sharp.
Fine colours, interesting plant.


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-09-23 8:26]

Hello Jane,
Very beautiful photo in fantastic contrasts. Contrasts in colours and shapes. Excellent sharpness, details and natural colours in a beautiful environment. Attractive composition.

hello Jane
very nice composition met good sharpness and beautiful colours
great pose to see the fruit very good
greeting lou

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-09-23 12:14]

Hello Jane.
Great cactus. Nice soft light on the fruit and good POV.The colours are wonderful and the details are good.Also, nice composition. TFS
Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2010-09-23 14:07]

Hi Jane,
Beautiful image.Well caught,framed and composed.
Thanks for posting..

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2010-09-23 15:34]

Hi Jane,an excellent composition create by this cactus plants,i like a lot the ipressive sharpness,i can count the needles..ehehe....excellents and natural colors too.Thanks for share,have a nice day,Luciano.

Hallo Jane,
a very beautiful picture, marvellous contrast of colours, a very pleasing composition very well balanced.
Best regards

Hi Jane,
A cactus with medicinal values good find. Very good captured shot of this beautiful cactus and its fruit. Good sharp details and a lovely composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

A beautiful composition in fine focus with complimentary colours Jane, and the information provided is also top-notch. Thanks for both of them my friend.

Ciao Jane, lovely composition with beautiful cactus flowers, wonderful natural colors and splendid sharpness, I like a lot, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2010-09-24 16:17]

Hello Jane,
a very graphical composition of the shot. I like the pink fruits that stand out beautifully on the green cactus. the pebbles render a good graphical view.
A splendid top view composition in all sharpness.


  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2010-09-26 11:18]

Hello Jane,
I never tire of looking at cactus plants. These are shown nicely with wonderful detail and beautiful natural colors. I suppose when you see something everyday it becomes common, and this may be the reason that I find cactus so attractive. We don't have any growing here in Ohio except for a cultivative variety which occasionally is grown in flower beds.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2010-10-06 12:16]

Hello Jane,
I've seen this cactus many times but never tasteds the fruit. This is a splendid composition showing the fruit sharply in focus and the colours are beautiful!
TFS and all the best wishes, Ulla

Bonjour Jane,
Superbe composition dans laquelle le sujet est bien valorisé par la finesse des détails, la délicatesse des couleurs .
Bravo et au revoir....JP

Hi Jane,
Beautiful Opuntia fruits (and plants, too). I like cacti very much, they seem so spectacular. Simple yet nice photo, great compo and sharpness, a pleasant view overall. Tfs and congrats.
Friendly regards, László

Hi Jane. Looking down to the ground and you have framed this cactus beautifully. Love the natural tone with amazing details in the composition. The pinkish pear stands out really well against the modified leaves. Thanks for sharing and have a nice day. Regards - Jusni

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2010-11-21 9:06]

Hi Jane.
Where are you? I am also not a frequent guest here but your absence is too long. I am impressed with clarity of the image, attractive combination of alive flowers and cold (me be not so cold) stones and ultimate details/sharpness of the image. Excellent work Thanks a lot and best wishes. In waiting for your new posts,

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-12-08 3:25]

Hello Jane,
I don't know why I missed this one!
This is a wonderful combination of the spiny pads and fruit in a pleasing composition stones with the rocks in the BG taken with fine sharpness and natural colours.
The accompanying note is excellent too. We once tried to pick and eat the fruit but were so bothered by the glochids that we gave up.
There must be a special way!
Thanks and kind regards,

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