Prickly Pear

Out in the bush it is very common to see euphorbia or cactus-looking plants but one particular species stands out the most and is very common all over South Africa. It is called the Prickly Pear, a highly invasive alien plant that originates from the Americas (most likely the Mexico region) and has been in our country for over 250 years! In the bush it is a problem as none of the animals actually eat the prickly pears and so they keep spreading throughout the landscape, taking nutrition and water from the other plant life and hence destroying plant life in quite a wide area. This is where we come in – minimizing their impact by uprooting them. But once uprooted they cannot just be left as roots will grow from the sides of the plant and it will simply take root again. As a result we have resorted to uprooting them and then leaving them on the road where they are crushed by passing vehicles.