What kind of Opuntia cactus is this?

I saw many of such cactus plants in the south-east of Spain growing wild. I know it is called Opuntia or Prickly pear cactus. But there are so many Opuntia species, so I am not sure what kind of Opuntia it is. 

Is the fruit of this Prickly pear edible? Thank you!

Opuntia cactus Prickly pear

Opuntia cactus Prickly pear

Prickly pear cactus


Vice Professor Asked on August 25, 2016 in Succulents.
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  • 3 Answer(s)

    Looks like Opuntia ovata 

    Reviewer Answered on August 26, 2016.
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    I am not sure which type of Opuntia this is. It looks to me like Opuntia ovata or Opuntia ficus-indica. As far as I know, the most common culinary species is the Indian fig opuntia (Opuntia ficus-indica). Most culinary uses of the term “prickly pear” refer to this species. 

    Seems, in genus Opuntia, the edible prickly pears are

    • Opuntia ficus-indica
    • Opuntia matudae
    • Opuntia fragilis



    Doctor Answered on August 26, 2016.
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    I believe this is Opuntia ficus-indica ‘Burbank Spineless’. Fruit and stems (pads, nopales) are edible. Can be used for syrup and jelly and making candies also.

    Vice Professor Answered on August 29, 2016.
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