prickly pear by scottimages

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In Australia The Prickly Pear is a noxious weed, but I can’t help noticing how beautiful it is when it’s in fruit.

Prickly Pear is one of the most invasive weeds ever imported into Australia.
It was first recorded as being cultivated for stock fodder in the Parramatta district in the early 1800’s. There is also a record of a pot plant being taken to Scone, NSW in 1839 where it was grown in a station garden. The property manager later planted it in various paddocks with the idea that it would be a good stand-by for stock in a drought year.
It has also been recorded that a plant of common pear was taken from Sydney to Warwick, Queensland in 1848 for use as a garden plant, with a strong recommendation that it would be a good fruiting and hedge plant!
From garden plants to hedges and then into the paddock, prickly pear became acclimatised and spread at an alarming rate. Many people were forced off their lands.
Early settlers took plants to other parts of New South Wales and Queensland because of its potential use as an alternate food source for stock, especially during dry times. It was also planted at various homesteads as a hedge. The hedges flourished and bore fruit. Excess pieces were dumped in the bush. With all this help, prickly pear quickly established over a large area.
Prickly pear literally exploded! The accommodating climate and the general lack of natural enemies accounted for its amazing spread – still considered by many experts to be one of the botanical wonders of the world.

[canon 1000D, 50mm, F/4, processed in Lightroom, CS3, textures of my own & Thanks to ifdezelle ]

  1. Featured – Art Universe – June 2011


texture, cacti, cactus, fruit, nopal, opuntia, paddle cactus, plants, prickly pear

Painter, Illustrator, sometime Designer, maniacal Doodler, Photographic Artist.

Funnily enough I don’t consider myself to be a photographer – that’s for the talented folks who actually know what their camera’s do.

My illustrations & designs are over here :

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  • awefaul
    awefaulover 4 years ago

    Lovely picture. Thanks also for the information. It was a very similar situation in South Africa. They taste delicious though and especially after they were cooled in the fridge for a while. We peeled them with a knife and fork at my grandfather’s farm long ago. I also looked on the internet and found Prickly Pear Festival 2010

  • Hi Faul. I’ve never considered eating them, though I know people do. I grew up on a grazing property so I always saw these as terrible pests….. the festival sounds like a fun idea though. if you can’t get rid of them you may as well make some fun out of them :))

    – scottimages

  • Lorraine Creagh
    Lorraine Creaghover 4 years ago

    Great detail Rosemary. Oh I’m loving the colours

  • Thanks Lorraine. I was really happy the colours too. The fruit is a lovely rich red & you know how much I love my green….. this particular shade is personal favourite :))

    – scottimages

  • JHRphotoART
    JHRphotoARTover 4 years ago

    Great work Rosemary

  • Thanks very much :))

    – scottimages

  • Kim  Calvert
    Kim Calvertover 4 years ago

    Beautifully done Rosemary..such a gorgeous image.

  • Thanks so much Kim, I’m actually really happy with it, though never too sure about the square format :))

    – scottimages

    JUSTARTover 4 years ago

    beautiful work, love the textures

  • Thanks so much. Hope you had a wonderful time in France :))

    – scottimages

  • Leon A.  Walker
    Leon A. Walkerover 4 years ago

    This is a beautiful capture Rosemary my friend!!!

  • Thankyou so much Leon, lovely to hear from you :))

    – scottimages

  • Rhonda Strickland
    Rhonda Stricklandover 4 years ago

    This is lovely Rosemary. . . such a deep, lucious red. The grunge texture works wonderfully here. . .

  • Thanks Rhonda, the red is gorgeous isn’t it? Most of the time I think they’re an ugly old cactus, but once a year they come into fruit…..

    – scottimages

  • Tara  Turner
    Tara Turnerover 4 years ago

    very beautiful!

  • Many Thanks Tara :))

    – scottimages

  • deborah brandon
    deborah brandonover 4 years ago

    ‘Perfection’ Rosemary – love the colors – detail – dof & of course the use of texture xx :)

  • Perfection? Oh, that’s lovely of you! Love to hear from you Deb, always such a pleasure xx

    – scottimages

  • Shelly Harris
    Shelly Harrisover 4 years ago

    For a weed, It’s really pretty! Beautiful work!

  • Thanks so much Shelly. I really don’t notice them most of the year except for now when they’re in fruit :))

    – scottimages

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