Yes, it’s true. The prickly pear cactus grows in the sandy soils of the Oak Openings Region. Who would have known that a cactus is native to Northwest Ohio? The dry sandy dunes are a perfect place for this species of cactus to grow.
Northwest Ohio has harsh winters and most don't expect that a cactus can grow here.
It was brought to my attention as I became more aware of the Oak Openings Region and some of the rare plants that grow here.
The prickly pear will grow additional shoots during the spring. It will also bloom about mid June with beautiful yellow flowers.
The outer parts of the flowers are a lighter yellow. The inner parts of the flowers are a darker yellow. Unfortunately the blooms don’t last long.
The fruit of the cactus is edible; and doesn't taste too bad.
During the winter the cactus will lay down on the ground and be partially
shriveled up. The fruit will turn red. It will go dormant like other perennial plants and flowers in the winter and begin growing again when the weather turns warmer.
The cactus that I have planted in my native garden shriveled up over the winter and I thought it was dead.
But as the weather turned warmer the pear shaped cactus began to stand up and grow new “pears”. Unfortunately I don’t have flowers on mine this year, maybe next year.