Plains Pricklypear (Polyacantha)

The Plains Pricklypear (Polyacantha) is generally described as a perennial shrub. This is native to the U.S. (United States) has its most active growth period in the spring and summer and fall . The Plains Pricklypear (Polyacantha) has green foliage and inconspicuous yellow flowers, with an abuncance of conspicuous red fruits or seeds. The greatest bloom is usually observed in the late spring, with fruit and seed production starting in the summer and continuing until fall. Leaves are retained year to year. The Plains Pricklypear (Polyacantha) has a moderate life span relative to most other plant species and a rapid growth rate. At maturity, the typical Plains Pricklypear (Polyacantha) will reach up to 2 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of 2 feet.

The Plains Pricklypear (Polyacantha) is usually not commercially available except under contract. It can be propagated by bare root, container, cuttings, seed. It has a rapid ability to spread through seed production and the seedlings have medium vigor. Note that cold stratification is not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below -28°F. has high tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions.

Plant Basics
Category
Growth Rate Rapid
General Type Shrub
Growth Period Spring, Summer, Fall
Growth Duration Perennial
Lifespan Moderate
Plant Nativity Native to U.S.
Commercial Availability Contracting Only
Physical Characteristics
Bloom Period Late Spring
Displays Fall Colors No
Shape/Growth Form Stoloniferous
Drought Tolerance High
Shade Tolerance Intolerant
Height When Mature 2
Vegetative Spread Moderate
Flower Color Yellow
Flower Conspicuousness Yes
Fruit/Seed Abundance High
Fruit/Seed Seasonality Summer Fall
Seed Spread Rate Rapid
Gardening Characteristics
Propagations (Ways to Grow) Bare Root, Container, Cuttings, Seed
Moisture Requirements Low
Cold Stratification Required No
Minimum Temperature -28
Soil Depth for Roots 12
Toxic to Nearby Plants No
Toxic to Livestock No
After-Harvest Regrowth Rate Rapid
After-Harvest Resprout Ability No
Responds to Coppicing Yes
Growth Requirements
pH Range 7–8.8 pH
Precipitation Range 10–10 inches/yr
Planting Density 170–300 indiv./acre
Soil Textures Coarse, Fine, Medium
Soil Depth for Roots 12
Minimum Frost-Free Days 200 day(s)
Salinity Tolerance None
CaCO3 Tolerance High
Sustainability & Use
Leaf Retention Yes
Palatability Low
Fire Resistant No
Causes Livestock Bloating None

Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database, plants.usda.gov.
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA