I'll beat Old Prickly, all right.
Opuntia, the prickly pear, or Indian fig cactus, is a large typical group, comprising some 150 species, found in North America, the West Indies, and warmer parts of South America, extending as far as Chile.
Prickly forms of Statice and Astragalus cover the dry hills.
The entire valley of the Rio Grande, from El Paso to Brownsville, grows many species of cactus, and other prickly coriaceous shrubs.
The flowers have an urn-shaped calyx which persists around the fruit and is strongly veined, with five stiff, broad, almost prickly lobes; these, when the soft matter is removed by maceration, form very elegant specimens when associated with leaves prepared in a similar way.
In the swamps are the bald cypress, the white cedar and the live oak, usually draped in southern long moss; south of Cape Fear river are palmettos, magnolias, prickly ash, the American olive and mock orange; along streams in the Coastal Plain Region are the sour gum, the sweet bay and several species of oak; but the tree that is most predominant throughout the upland portion of this region is the long-leaf or southern pine.
In other districts the villages and homesteads are enclosed within formidable defences of prickly-pear or thorny mimosa.
Of the Characeae many are so exceedingly brittle that it is best to float them out like sea-weeds, except the prickly species, which may be carefully laid out on bibulous paper, and when dry fastened on sheets of white paper by means of gummed strips.
Among the natural flora may be noted the wild olive, the lentisk (from which oil is extracted), the prickly pear, the myrtle, broom, cytisus, the juniper.
Ilex, usually a smaller tree, frequently of rather shrub-like appearance, with abundant glossy dark-green leaves, generally ovate in shape and more or less prickly at the margin, but sometimes with the edges entire; the under surface is hoary; the acorns are oblong on short stalks.
The sugar-cane flourishes, the cotton-plant ripens to perfection, date-trees are seen in the gardens, the rocks are clothed with the prickly-pear or Indian fig, the enclosures of the fields are formed by aloes and sometimes pomegranates, the liquorice-root grows wild, and the mastic, the myrtle and many varieties of oleander and cistus form the underwood of the natural forests of arbutus and evergreen oak.
Almonds are widely cultivated in Sicily, Sardinia and the sor~ithern provinces; walnut trees throughout the peninsula, their wood being more important than their fruit; hazel nuts, figs, prickly pears (used in the south and the islands for hedges, their fruit being a minor consideration), peaches, pears, locust beans and pistachio nuts are among the other fruits.
Some have held that it is a prickly shrub, Zizyphus Lotus, which bears a sweet-tasting fruit, and still grows in the old home of the Lotophagi.
At the base of the tube, in both groups, the ovary becomes developed into a fleshy (often edible) fruit, that produced by the Opuntia being known as the prickly pear or Indian fig.
Tuna are much eaten under the name of prickly pears, and are greatly esteemed for their cooling properties.
Helena is delightfully situated with Mt Helena as a background in the hollow of the Prickly Pear valley, a rich agricultural region surrounded by rolling hills and lofty mountains, and contains many fine buildings, including the state capitol, county court house, the Montana club house, high school, the cathedral of St Helena, a federal building, and the United States assay office.
On the more barren soil the sumach shrub, the leaves of which are used for tanning, and the prickly pear grow freely.
The prickly poppy (Argemone grandiflora) is a fine Mexican perennial with large white flowers.
The best-known fruits, besides dates and grapes, are figs, sycamore-figs and pomegranates, apricots and peaches, oranges and citrons, lemons and limes, bananas, which are believed to be of the fruits of Paradise (being always in season), different kinds of melons (including some of aromatic flavour, and the refreshing water-melon), mulberries, Indian figs or prickly pears, the fruit of the lotus and olives.
The latter are borne three together, invested by a cupule of four green bracts, which, as the fruit matures, grow to form the tough green prickly envelope surrounding the group of generally three nuts.
A thousand mountain torrents have scooped out for themselves picturesque ravines, clothed with an ever-fresh verdure of prickly thorns, stunted gnarled shrubs, and here and there a noble forest tree.
Total 46 - and in having the teeth generally developed upon an insectivorous rather than a carnivorous pattern, the upper middle incisors being larger and inclined forward, the canines relatively smaller, and the molars with broad crowns, armed with prickly tubercles.
Prickly pear (opuntia) hedges are as frequent as in Sicily.
The caroub tree and the prickly pear are extensively cultivated.
The prickly ash, Virginian creeper and staff-tree find here their northern limit; and the mountain maple, Canada blueberry, dwarf birch and ground hemlock their southern limit.
An important product of the plateau and of the open districts of the tierras calientes, growing in the most arid places, is the " nopal " or prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus indica).
Not to mention the olive, which must have been introduced at a remote period, all the members of the orange tribe, the agave and the prickly pear, as well as other plants highly characteristic of Sicilian scenery, have been introduced since the beginning of the Christian era.
Bananas are the most important crop. Other fruits grown in smaller quantities include oranges, figs, dates, pineapples, guavas, custard-apples and prickly pears.
Tobacco, maize and potatoes have been introduced; and the aloe and prickly pear, called in Morocco the Christian fig, are also found.
Sometimes there is attached to the rootstock a portion of stem, which is round and not prickly, differing in these respects from that of Smilax officinalis, which is square and prickly.
That which flows from the lower incisions is often collected on tiles or on a concave piece of the prickly pear (Opuntia), but is less crystalline and more glutinous, and is less esteemed.
Deep, filled with a dense growth of prickly acacia, the usual defence of West African strongholds.
In the southern provinces flourish also various subtropical exotics, such as the banana, the West Indian cherimoya, and the prickly pear or Indian fig (Opuntia vulgaris), the last frequently grown as a hedge-plant, as in other Mediterranean countries, and extending even to the southern part of the table-land.
In the forests are numerous bright-plumaged birds and many species of monkeys, mostly ground monkeys - the trees being too prickly for climbing.
Oxycedrus, a common plant in the Mediterranean region, forming a shrub or low tree with spreading branches and short, stiff, prickly leaves.
This word, applied in the form of KaKros by the ancient Greeks to some prickly plant, was adopted by Linnaeus as the name of a group of curious succulent or fleshy-stemmed plants, most of them prickly and leafless, some of which produce beautiful flowers, and are now so popular in our gardens that the name has become familiar.
- Prickly Pear (Opuntia vulgaris).
The agave and prickly pear, the myrtle, the olive and the dwarf palm grow luxuriantly; and the fields are covered with narcissus, iris and other flowers of every hue.
Written as this name is in pictures or rebus, it probably suggested the invention of the well-known legend of a prophecy that the war-god's temple should be built where a prickly pear was found growing on a rock, and perched on it an eagle holding a serpent; this legend is still commemorated on the coins of Mexico.
Hence the epigram of Antonios Kriezes to the queen of Greece: " The island produces prickly pears in abundance, splendid sea captains and excellent prime ministers."
Various other adulterants are sometimes used, such as the inspissated juice of the prickly pear, extracts from tobacco, stramonium and hemp, pulp of the tamarind and bael fruit, mahwah flowers and gums of different kinds.