Prickly Pear Cactus

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Prickly pear cactus

***** Location: Yemen
***** Season: Various, see below
***** Category: Plant


CLICK for more blossom photos
flowers of the prickly pear
kigo for spring

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fruit of the prickly pear
kigo for summer

Prickly pear cactus, Opuntia dillenii

Prickly pear season is welcomed warmly in Yemen, particularly by the poor. The fruit has its own market that doesn’t allow any other fruits to come close to it. As cheap fruit with a gratifying return, prickly pears are bought by all men, women and children. Prickly pear season is from June to August and during that time of year, various zones and locations are full of street vendors selling prickly pears by cart, while women sellers use baskets.

Seller from Al-Hayma

All sellers – men, women and children alike – hold a small knife in their hands, not for slaughtering, but for removing the prickly pear’s outer covering, which has small thorns. If the outer covering isn’t removed carefully, the small thorns may mix with the fruit causing injury when eaten. In an area allocated for flood drainage caused by rain, one can find many people and cars filled with prickly pear boxes. Most of the fruit comes from Al-Hayma, where prickly pear trees grow abundantly.
[Salim Al-Majidi © 2003 Yemen Times www.yementimes.com]

Worldwide use

Malta, Italia

In Malta the yellow and red flowers of the tree, colour depends on the species, appear in June.

blossom of prickly pear
winning print

Francis Attard
published in Asahi Haikuist Network, 2003


North America

Prickly Pear
nopal cactus

kigo for summer

first light
thin dew on the spines
of the prickly pear

the new widow
prickly pear cactus
where tomatoes once grew

. . .

cramming for midterms
but missing his abuela's
grilled nopalitos

A spanglish haiku.
Abuela = grandmother, nopales = edible prickly pear catus pads, nopalitos =little nopales. Spanglish is the mix of Spanish and English.

gK © 2004

Things found on the way

parched river . . .
a cactus flower unfurls
outside my window

Sandip Sital Chauhan
Mongolia Saijiki, 2012


Sing, Stonechat! Sing!
Now I've seen it too..
prickly pear blossoms

Enjoy the little things
- he whispers -
offering prickly pear

Heike Gewi, Yemen, January 2008

Related words

***** ***** YEMEN SAIJIKI


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