Cactus Flower

I usually see the Prickly Pear cactus (Opuntia humifusa) out at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge about this time of year, but I haven’t been on the A train in a while. I heard recently that a patch was discovered in Upper Manhattan, which is at the other end of the A train. This flowering specimen, though, is in Gowanus — not where you would expect to find it. It’s planted in a skinny sidewalk garden. A native plant, it reaches into Quebec and is the only widespread cactus in the eastern U.S.

3 Responses to “Cactus Flower”


  1. 1 Elizabeth White June 14, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Some brave soul actually PLANTED this dangerous specimen? They’re beautiful (at least before they flop down for the winter), but oh those thorns! and not the obvious big ones either – the little tiny ones are the real irritants. I tend to admire them from a distance.

    • 2 mthew June 14, 2012 at 11:06 am

      I understand the spines have backwards pointing hooks, fishing hook like: they grasp the flesh securely. There are actually two of the plants, at either end of this little garden.

  2. 3 lolasanrose June 14, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    I took pics of cactus flowers in Thomasville Georgia back a few months. they were so beautiful. I do not know what type they were.


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