There is an evidence of this plant, since prehistoric times. O. ficus-indica is originally from Mexico and then it was spread to all the warm areas of the world, due to the medical properties of its stems, which were used to treat scurvy (sailors' disease, vitamin C deficiency). It is a perennial cactus, large and bushy, with a green stem and a fleshy and waxy epidermis, usually without spines, however sometimes it may have white small ones. From its pads large flowers bloom, which normally vary in color from bright yellow to orange (but also white or red). This plant produces fleshy and juicy edible fruits of a normally red-purple color, but they can also be green, yellow or orange.