By: Samantha Yurek
Photo by Jorg Breuning
Commonly known as the Prickly Pear Cactus, this plant does an exceptional job of soaking up water during a rain event and storing it for future days spent basking in the sun. It produces a shallow and fibrous root system making it an ideal option for any extensive green roof design. The Prickly Pear will flourish under a wide range of conditions including various temperatures, rainfall events, and soil types. In late spring or early summer, the yellow flower will bring aesthetic value to the roof along with attracting pollinating insects. The Prickly Pear is a low growing perennial which spreads easily, but will not dominate the roof space. It’s also a plus that this particular cactus is native to the eastern half of the United States.