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Eastern prickly pear (Opuntia humifusa (Raf.) Raf.)

Also known as devil's-tongue, Indian fig.

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Eastern prickly pear
Photo © Bonnie Semmling, CC BY 4.0.

Range - Expand

Native or Not Present
Introduced or Not Present

This tentative map is based on our own research. It may have limited data on Canada and/or Mexico, and there is some subjectivity in our assignment of plants as introduced vs. expanded. Read more in this blog post.


We recommend the use of the common name "eastern prickly pear" because it is unambiguous, and is more descriptive of this plant's range and relationship to other Opuntia sp., which are also called "prickly pears". The common name "devil's-tongue" is ambiguous because it can also refer to the closely-related Opuntia ammophila, to Konjac (Amorphophallus konjac), which is cultivated as a root vegetable in East Asia and does not occur in the wild in North America, or to the Red Savina pepper, a cultivar of Capsicum chinense, a species which also does not occur in the wild in North America. We also recommend against the use of the term "Indian fig", as it more commonly refers to the related species barbary fig (Opuntia ficus-indica) which has been introduced in the western US, but can also refer to the Indian banyan (Ficus benghalensis) which has been introduced in South Florida.

Devil's-Tongue | Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) (About This Site)

Opuntia humifusa (Eastern Prickly Pear) | Illinois Wildflowers (About This Site)

Opuntia humifusa (devil's-tongue) | USDA PLANTS Database (About This Site)

Opuntia humifusa | Go Botany (About This Site)

Opuntia humifusa | CABI Invasive Species Compendium (About This Site)

Opuntia humifusa | Biota of North America Project (BONAP) (About This Site)

Opuntia humifusa | NatureServe Explorer (About This Site)

Opuntia humifusa | Flora of North America (About This Site)

Eastern Pricklypear | Maryland Biodiversity Project (About This Site)

Photo gallery

Photo © Bonnie Semmling, CC BY 4.0.
Photo © er-birds, CC BY 4.0.