Botanical Name: Opuntia ficus-indica Add
Common Name: Mission or Tree Cactus, Indian Fig  
Plant photo of: Opuntia ficus-indica
  • Anatomy

  • Culture

  • Design

Plant Type

Succulent, Cactus


Height Range



Flower Color

Orange, Yellow


Flower Season

Spring, Summer


Leaf Color

Green, Light Green


Bark Color



Fruit Color

Purple, Red


Fruit Season

Summer, Fall





Very Low


Growth Rate



Soil Type

Sandy, Rocky


Soil Condition

Average, Poor, Well-drained


Soil pH

Neutral, Basic


Adverse Factors


Design Styles

Ranch, Spanish


Accenting Features

Showy Flowers, Unusual Foliage, Unusual Shape


Seasonal Interest

Spring, Summer, Fall


Location Uses

Background, Shrub Border, Foundation, Swimming Pool, Walls / Fences, With Rocks


Special Uses

Container, Filler, Mass Planting, Fire Resistant, Naturalizing


Attracts Wildlife


Information by: George Hull MSN
Photographer: Mountain States Nursery
  • Description

  • Notes

This unusual looking cactus forms a trunk topped with pads (actually the leaves) that have few spines. Flowers are yellow to orange in late spring and early summer, found at the edges of the pads. Green edible fruit follows the bloom period. Fruit turns purple when ripe. This cactus need full sun and well draining soil. It is frost sensitive. The newly formed pads, or nopales of this cactus are used to make a delicious salsa,. The major pest comes from a scale.
Planting Instructions: 1. Dig a hole 2 times the width and 1 and 1/2 times the height of the container. 2. Set rootball just above ground level. 3. Mix soil with 25% amendment and %75 soil. 4. Backfill with amended soil. 5. Build basin and water.