© Charlotte Staub Thomas

Prickly Pear
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Opuntia spp.
Cactaceae

PRICKLY PEARS are mentioned numerous times in entries by both Captain Lewis and Captain Clark, and for good reason. As Lewis wrote at one point, referring to mosquitoes, gnats, and prickly pears, “our trio of pests still invade and obstruct us on all occasions.” In a rare reference to the Bible, he went on to say that they were equal to any three curses that Egypt ever labored under.

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