prickly pear


prickly pear

noun

: a cactus that has yellow flowers and fruits shaped like pears; also : the fruit of this plant

Full Definition of PRICKLY PEAR

1
:  opuntia; especially :  any of those with flat spiny joints —called also prickly pear cactus — compare cholla
2
:  the pulpy pear-shaped edible fruit of various prickly pears (as Opuntia ficus-indica)

Illustration of PRICKLY PEAR

First Known Use of PRICKLY PEAR

1612

Rhymes with PRICKLY PEAR

prickly pear

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Engelmann prickly pear (Opuntia engelmannii)—Grant Heilman Photography

Any of a group of flat-stemmed, spiny opuntia cacti (see cactus), native to the Western Hemisphere, or the edible fruit of certain species. Engelmann prickly pear (Opuntia engelmannii) and beaver tail cactus (O. basilaris) commonly occur in the southwestern U.S. The Indian fig (O. ficus-indica) is an important food in tropical and subtropical countries. Because their stems have a high water content, prickly pears can be used as forage crops and emergency stock feed during drought. Some species are cultivated as ornamentals and valued for their large flowers.

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