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Mr. Smarty Plants - Bloom time for Opuntia engelmannii

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Sunday - February 18, 2007

From: Onalaska, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Bloom time for Opuntia engelmannii
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We are planing a trip to West Texas, El Paso area, in March and can't remember when the prickly pear cactus are in bloom. Can you help!

ANSWER:

Opuntia engelmannii is the scientific name for the prickly pear, or cactus apple. The variety you will find in the El Paso area is Opuntia engelmannii var. engelmannii. Although you may see some blossoms in late March, the blooming period doesn't really begin in earnest until April and May and can extend through July.
 

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