Definition of prickly pear in US English:

prickly pear


  • 1A cactus with jointed stems and oval flattened segments, having barbed bristles and large pear-shaped prickly fruits.

    Genus Opuntia, family Cactaceae: several species, in particular O. humifusa of North America and O. ficus-indica, which is cultivated for its fruit and has become naturalized in the Mediterranean

    • ‘Forest edge habitat, especially on drier sites, often features yucca and numerous kinds of prickly pear cacti.’
    • ‘Sideoats grama, buffalo grass, sagebrush, yucca and prickly pear cactus are also common on the canyon floor and walls.’
    • ‘Until the early 1960s, this coast was pure, unadulterated nature: sea and rocks, prickly pears, stone pines and juniper, encircling the occasional sandy beach.’
    • ‘We marvel at the awesome scenery, the great cathedrals and citadels that nature has carved out of the orange sandstone, the grasses of many subtle greens, the desert sunflowers and the delicate rose-like blooms of the prickly pear cactus.’
    • ‘We are rich with saguaros, prickly pear, and cholla cacti, and palo verde, and mesquite trees.’
    • ‘There aren't many places where you can see prickly pear cactus and redwood trees growing along the same trail, but that's what you'll find in Soberanes canyon.’
    • ‘Along the way, look closely at the bluffs for the small prickly pear cactus that grows in the rain shadow here.’
    • ‘Not only do the sprays resemble a cacti garden, but collecting the specimens is like trying to harvest prickly pear cacti without getting stuck.’
    • ‘I didn't need a degree in Range Management to see that these gusty high altitude foothills, bristling with prickly pear, sage brush, and sharp needle grass, were better for raising jack rabbits than cattle.’
    • ‘Nopal is prickly pear and has been studied in Mexico for its ability to lower blood glucose and cholesterol.’
    • ‘The salt pans on which his wealth was based are now overgrown with thorny scrub; the channel that once linked lagoon to ocean choked by prickly pear and cactus.’
    • ‘But still you'd bump into a prickly pear or cholla cactus and have to stop and pull the thorns out of person's leg or shoe.’
    • ‘We kept driving, past cedar thickets and a pasture studded with blooming prickly pear cactus.’
    • ‘But even such eroded volcanic remnants are life-giving enough for some plants, and I see a healthy scattering of succulents - yuccas, agaves, sotols, prickly pears - as well as evergreen oak, small-leaved trees adapted to dry conditions.’
    • ‘There are about three hundred members of the cactus family classified as prickly pear, all belonging to the genus Opuntia.’
    • ‘In the gardens are lemon and lime trees, prickly pear cactus plants, fig trees and ornamental palms.’
    • ‘I ate Indian food in a strip mall surrounded by prickly pear cactus and watched movies at the three-story theater that squeezed out the independent downtown joint.’
    • ‘Along the way you'll see bunch grasses, annual wildflowers, and prickly pear cactus, as well as rust-and lime-colored lichens adorning banded rocks flecked with fool's gold.’
    • ‘From my perch above the brush, I watched that animal run at full throttle through dense tangles of mesquite and prickly pear.’
    • ‘Plants here include prairie rose, nodding onion, gray-headed coneflower, butterfly weed, green milkweed, hoary puccoon, and even eastern prickly pear cactus.’
    1. 1.1 The edible orange or red fruit of the prickly pear.
      • ‘Among the other hits here are a graceful Caesar salad and a first course of lean, intense boar ribs perched over an interesting, not sickeningly sweet glaze infused with juice from the fruit of the prickly pear cactus.’
      • ‘The nopal cactus (aka Opuntia ficus-indica, prickly pear or Indian fig) will grace your plate if you order either the cactus gratinado or the cactus fajita.’
      • ‘A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that an extract from the skin of the prickly pear fruit has a moderate effect on hangover symptoms.’
      • ‘And what about Mexico, where eighty species of Opuntia support a cochineal dye industry and are the source of edible prickly pear fruit?’
      • ‘A number of studies show that prickly pear can control blood sugar in experimental diabetes in animals.’
      • ‘The prickly pear fruit resembles a small cucumber, but with seeds distributed evenly through its flesh and with rosettes of little spines on the outside.’
      • ‘I had the seafood ceviche with rice & beans on the side and a prickly pear margarita.’
      • ‘I stole a pumpkin a few days back from the garden… It's feeding me, as are chard and avocados, a few prickly pears, and oranges.’
      • ‘Each is desperate to entice you with luscious tomatilla salsa and freshly harvested prickly pears and aching to discuss whether your chilli preference is for ancho or chipotle.’
      • ‘The fruit from the prickly pear - a cross between kiwi fruit and a ripe pear - is wonderful.’


prickly pear

/ˈprɪk(ə)li pɛ(ə)r//ˈprik(ə)lē pe(ə)r/