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Prickly Pear Cactus

Many desert plants thrive in Hawaii. We have a moderate climate: not too hot, not too cold — and moderate rainfall: not too much, not too little. They also like the volcanic soil, rich in nutrients, but high in sand and rock content, so the roots don’t get damp rot.

Prickly Pear Cactus and Koa Haole Tree
I took this photo while standing upright as close to the barrel of this thing as I cared to get.

This is a shot from a different angle and a bit closer to the cactus.






Close up of a decaying pad. What you see remaining is the vascular tissue.
(Science lesson courtesy of OC.)

A close up of the cactus flowers from below.
About a quarter mile down the road is a much shorter cactus.
If you don’t just remember the shot from the Alphabet Challenge,
you may see a photo of it’s blossom, here.

From The Ground, Up,
My World in Pictures, by JFargo.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. I looooooove prickly pears! They are my FAVORITE of all the cacti! We actually have a neighbor that has some THRIVING in their yard — and I don’t know how they DO it! (I have a feeling they’ll be suffering soon though — we are drowned little rats here lately!) I’m not complaining mind you — we’ve usually started drought conditions by now! Those are (as usual) beautiful shots Quilly!

  2. I’m loving these. Especially the ones with the patchy blue clouds behind them. They make a great series.

  3. Your pictures are beautiful, cacti are not especially beautiful, at least to me, but here they look even decorative besides one which is a little “tortured” !

  4. I don’t think of Hawaii being a place for cactus, but as you say, the soil is right. They love sandy soil. I guess the amount of rain isn’t an issue if they don’t have their feet soaking in boggy soil. When we lived in Garden Grove, it was total sand, and I had lots of cactus. But of course here in Georgia, they would not live. I like cactus, from a distance. haha got my rear end stuck to one once, and thought I might have to stay there……haha

  5. Melli — dig a large, deep hole in your yard. Fill it with 50% pebbles and 25% sand and 25% dirt. Plant your cactus. Watch it grow — but don’t plant a Prickly Pear. It won’t survive a winter freeze. You need to plant cold desert cacti.

    Robert — thank you. I wish they’d have gotten more then 4 views. My fault for missing my normal posting window.

    Gattina — this cactus isn’t so much “beautiful” as it is impressive.

    Nea — the pot planter cacti from the mainland, grow into humongous trees here in Hawaii. I still have a few more to photograph.

  6. That is definitely prickly. Love the close up from the ground up!
    It produces beautiful flowers too. Great shots.
    (Thanks OC for the science lesson!)

  7. Quilly,
    I’ve been trying to post to your blog for days now and get an error page. If it does it again I’m going to make a screen shot and send it to you. I enjoy reading your blog and would like to tell you so. 🙂

  8. Raven — the cacti could have worked for project blue, but I only wanted to use the sky once.

    Juliana — you would love the cacti on this island

    timtim — thank you

    Cath — I thank you and OC thanks you for thanking him. (Polite bunch, aren’t we?)

    Amber Star — I’m sorry, I don’t know what’s amiss.

    Yay! Glad you made it!

    Jeremiah — thank you.

  9. You took these shots while STANDING UP beside this cactus? Wow!! That’s one big (bleepidy bleep) cactus!!

    Wonderful photos!

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