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Opuntia (Variegated)


Its name derives from Greek and was chosen in honor of Opunte, the capital of Locride - a region of ancient Greece. It is native to the American desert areas, but also grows spontaneously along the coasts of southern Italy, where it is possible to admire it of sometimes quite impressive dimensions. It is a very particular cactacea, which includes various species and therefore have very different characteristics: most of them have branched stems, that are segmented into flat articles, which are called "shovels" or "ears", with the well-known peculiarity of not only being equipped with spines, but also with glochids, or microscopic toothed spines, which easily remain attached to anything they touch. However, its dangerousness is compensated by pleasant showy flowers, similar to a wheel, and by large colorful fruits, often edible (the famous prickly pear is a very common example). The pulp of the blades also has a common use: the extract, obtained from it, is often used for body care, with its remarkable slimming and lipo-absorbing properties. You have never seen such a multifunctional and, at the same time, ornamental plant before!