How to remove spines from prickly pear fruit?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How to remove spines from prickly pear fruit?” with an in-depth analysis of how you can remove spines from prickly pear fruit. Moreover, we are going to discuss what is the best way to get rid of prickly pear needles from your skin.

Prickly pear is a tasty fruit that is also known as nopales, Indian Fig, tuna, Sabra, or paddle cactus. However, you must properly remove the glochids, or small prickly needles, that might sting you from the prickly pear fruit. This cactus plant has a rough exterior that could harm you if not handled correctly. Their insides, like those of dragon fruits and saguaro, are juicy and tasty.

How to remove spines from prickly pear fruit?

Breaking out a pair of needle-nose tweezers and removing as many spines and glochids as possible is the best approach to remove the spines and glochids that you can’t remove by hand. If you have any leftover, apply Elmer’s Glue to the affected area and wrap with gauze. Allow 30 minutes for the glue to dry and afterward remove it.

Prickly pear fruits are high in vitamin C, fiber, calcium, and magnesium, in addition to being delicious. Prickly fruits are a common landscaping plant in the United States. Fruits of the prickly pear grow in arid and semi-arid climates such as the United States, Mexico, Australia, and Africa.

What is causing this?

Cactus spines offer fantastic protection, but they aren’t just there to hurt you. These fibrous structures, which are made from leaves, have a number of uses. During the day, spines can give shade, and at night, they can provide insulation.

Spines can disperse light similarly to a photography umbrella, according to John Trager, director of desert species at the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California. This guarantees that light is distributed uniformly across the full surface of the plant, even if it is grown in a shady area.

Cactus spines can be used to collect water as well. Most have a glass structure that absorbs moisture, while others are curved down so that any condensation drops onto the dirt around the roots.

The flattened, twisting spines of the paperspine fishhook cactus, which mimic blades of grass, can hide a cactus from hungry predators. 

According to Trager, cactuses are so good at blending in with their surroundings that they might go unnoticed when hiking.The author notes, “Guess it depends on the light, you may not notice it’s spiky till you feel it.”

Chollas and prickly pears’ spines have another function that renders tussling with them very unpleasant. Unlike the column cactus or tall ball cactus, these species are composed of tiny parts that can be snapped off easily.

Puente-Martinez explains that “each of those pieces of the stem has the power to root in the earth and start a new plant.” “It’s because of their ability to spread and scatter like this that they’ve been so successful in the desert.”

Spines are a crucial part of this technique because they enable a cholla or cactus pear pad to capture passing animals. “They may tear off a piece of that cactus and drop it somewhere else,” Puente-Martinez speculates.

Cactus spines are designed to take hold of anything in their path, which includes you. Trager describes them as “often viciously barbed”.  “The so-called jumping cholla doesn’t actually jump, but its barbed spines stick to you once it catches you.”

The fruit’s thorny spines

The fruits of the prickly pear cactus are endemic to Mexico and Central America. Typically, these fruits are picked while still green and immature. They’re then left on the plant to ripen naturally until they turn crimson. 

The fruits are plucked from the plants when they are ripe and sold in stores. The therapeutic properties of prickly pear cacti fruits have been centuries in traditional medicine. These fruits can be cooked and made into jams, jellies, juices, syrups, and other delectable foods in addition to being consumed raw. 

How do you get the spines out of a prickly pear? 

Following steps, you have to follow if you want to get the spines out of a prickly pear.

  • Cut the fruit lengthwise in half.
  • Using a vegetable peeler, remove the fruit’s skin. 
  • Slice the fruit in halves and use a spoon to scrape off the seeds.
  • Scrape the spines off using a spoon to remove them. 
  • Cut around the spines with a knife and take them out. 
  • Using a spoon, scrape the spines off.

What is the best way to get rid of prickly pear needles from your skin?

Because cactus spines are extremely sharp, wearing gloves is strongly advised. Soak the area in hot water for around 10 minutes to remove the spines. This softens the spines and makes pulling them off simpler. After removing the spines, carefully clean the area with soap and water.

What is the easiest way to get rid of prickly pear cactus in my yard?

Succulents, not actual plants, are cacti. Cactus leaves have spines, which are modified stems that protect the plant from predators. These spines are razor-sharp and can pierce human skin with ease.


In this brief guide, we answer the question “How to remove spines from prickly pear fruit?” with an in-depth analysis of how you can remove spines from prickly pear fruit. Moreover, we discussed what is the best way to get rid of prickly pear needles from your skin.


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