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Texas State Plant

Prickly pear cactus - click to see all state plant symbols
Prickly Pear Cactus picture source: Dry Mixedgrass Photo Library: a courtesy of Prairie Conservation Forum. All State Flowers & Plants.

Prickly Pear Cactus

The prickly pear cactus was designated the official plant symbol of Texas in 1995. Found in the deserts of the American southwest, the fruits of most prickly pear cacti are edible, and have been a source of food to native Americans for thousands of years. Cacti in general (and the fruits in particular) are still staple foods for some residents of Mexico and Latin America and the prickly pear cactus is raised commercially. The fruit is sold under the name "Tuna"; the branches or pads are eaten as a vegetable, called "nopalito" or "nopales."

Prickly pear cactus in bloom - click to see all state plant symbols
Prickly Pear Cactus in bloom © Arizona Sky Village (used by permission). See All State Flowers & Plants.

The name cactus is derived from the Greek word "kaktos", which means prickly plant. Cacti and other succulents face a variety of threats in their natural environment. They are easily propagated from seeds and cuttings, so removing plants from their natural habitat is uneccessary and harmful to the delicate desert ecosystem.

Ripe prickly pears - click to see all state plant symbols
Photo of prickly pear cactus courtesy of Free Public Domain Photo Database: Prickly Pear. See All State Flowers & Plants.
Source:
Links:
Prickly Pear Cactus: Botany Global Issues
Cacti of the El Paso Texas Region: photos by Clark Champie
Endangered Plants in Texas: Texas Parks & Wildlife
Prickly Pear Cactus: RAIN, Public Internet Broadcasting
All State Flowers & Plants - National Flower

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Texas Symbols & Icons:

air force - tie
footwear - music  
artist - bird
bread - cooking  
dinosaur - dog  
dish - snack
fabric - tartan
folk dance
fish - insect
flag - pledge
flower - plant
gem - stone
hall of fame
instrument
 

mammal 1-2-3  
sport - vehicle
metal - molecule
name - nickname
pastry 1 2 - nut
pepper 1-2 - fruit
plays - railroad
reptile - shell
seal -quarter - motto
ship -tall ship
shrub 1-2
song 1-2
tree -grass -soil
vegetable
 

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Texas Gifts - Gifts by State