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Eastern prickly pear is native to eastern North America east of the Rockies including Ontario. It is a prostrate plant comprised of relatively large flattened pads for a species with such a northerly range. In summer it produces large two to three inch wide golden yellow flowers sometimes with peach or orange centres followed by edible reddish purple fruit. Plant in full sun in sharply draining soil.
Openings in sandy forests, sandy savannas, sand prairies, gravel prairies, barrens and rocky bluffs, sandstone and limestone glades, sand dunes, rocky or sandy slopes and pastures.