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My place in Southern Ontario : unbeknownst  to me it's  Endangered | by 4BlueEyes Pete Williamson
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My place in Southern Ontario : unbeknownst to me it's Endangered

She's going to bloom like crazy ,I can't wait ! :-D


Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus


Features: The Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia humifusa) is a fleshy, low, branched cactus whose numerous broad pads are armed with bristles and spines. Bright yellow or gold, waxy flowers are borne on the edges of the pads, and the edible fruits are green, ripening to red. Ontario cacti seldom produce fruit and reproduce chiefly through pads breaking off of parent plants and taking root nearby. The Eastern Prickly Pear grows here in open woodlands and on sand dunes and ridges. In its United States range it grows in a wide variety of dry, sandy or rocky habitats.


Status: Endangered Provincially and Nationally


Range: The range of the Eastern Prickly Pear extends from Massachusetts through extreme southwestern Ontario, west to Minnesota and south to Oklahoma and Florida. It is common in southern parts of its United States range. Small populations in two southwestern Ontario counties, Essex and Kent, are near the northern limits of the species' range. The site in Kent County is reported to consist of transplanted cacti. Based on historical reports, this cactus may once have been marginally more widespread in areas near Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair. Range Maps


Threats: Ontario populations are very restricted. Threats include natural erosion and plant succession, trampling by people, and the illegal collection of plants or pads for transplanting to gardens.


Protection: The Eastern Prickly Pear is listed in regulation under Ontario's Endangered Species Act, 2007, which protects the species and its habitat. Additionally, the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) protects Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus on the federal lands on which it occurs. Naturally occurring cactus populations in the province are in protected areas. Two of the remaining populations are in Point Pelee National Park, where measures are being taken to control the invasion of cactus habitat by shrubs. Extension programs for park visitors aim to prevent the illegal removal of the cacti, and accidental trampling. A boardwalk has been constructed to allow viewing.

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Taken on June 14, 2012