Are Cactus Plants Edible – Learn About Types Of Edible Cacti:
Cactii (cactus) are plants with spines or thorns. There are many kinds of cactii including prickly pears, giant sequoias, desert rose, Mexican agave and others. All these species have been cultivated for their culinary value but they are also used medicinally for their narcotic properties.
The most common medicinal use of cactii is as a diuretic. They are also used for the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, cough, diarrhea and dysentery. Some of them are even used in the treatment of cancer and AIDS. In addition to its medical uses, it is often found growing wild along roadsides and other areas where there is no cultivated area.
Some of the edible varieties include:
Prickly Pear (Psidium ilex)
Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum)
Desert Rose (Rosa Canina)
Mexican Agave (Agaves tequilana and Agaves calophylla)
These are some of the most commonly grown cactii. All of them are great for making delicious jams, jellies, marmalades and other sweet goods. In addition, they can be made into delicious salads or even eaten raw.
It is also important to know that only the parts used for eating are safe for consumption. The fleshy outside sections, the pads or bases of the plants should all be thrown away as they contain harmful acids and other toxic substances that can prove to be very dangerous when ingested.
Before harvesting cactii, you should always make sure that you have the correct species and that they are not protected in any way. If they are growing wild on your property, you still need to get permission from the authorities. In some states, it is illegal to pick wild plants and even if it is not illegal, picking wild plants can harm their reproductive cycle so it is better not to do it.
All of the cactii can be stored for months in a cool, dry place. It is best if they are harvested during the spring or summer and then processed soon after harvesting. This will ensure that the moisture content is at its lowest and that they are still fresh. Most species can be stored for at least six months if kept in a refrigerator.
Before you pick any cactii, it is important to learn about their different types and the parts that can be eaten. This is because different species will have different parts that can be eaten and some might even have inedible parts. It is best to learn about the different types before harvesting.
Psidium can be found growing wild in open woodlands, fields and rocky hillsides. They are small trees that can reach up to twenty feet in height or more. The branches are slender and furrowed. The flowers are small, five lobed and greenish yellow in color.
The fruit is oval shaped and green when unripe. When ripe, they become yellow and then ultimately turn a deep, rich purple or red. The flavor is sweet at first followed by a tart aftertaste. These fruits can be eaten fresh or can be used in various desserts.
They can either be used whole or the pulp can be separated from the seed and mixed with other ingredients to make different kinds of sweet dishes.
The most common use for the fruit is for jams, jellies, syrups and wines. In Mexico, it is used to make a soft drink called aguas frescas which means “fresh waters.” It is also used in various kinds of ice creams and other chilled sweet desserts.
The most popular variety is called Aguaymanto or Inca Berry. The fruit has a flavor that is similar to a mixture of grapes and blackberries. It can be eaten fresh and also used in various kinds of jams, jellies and syrups. In Mexico, it is often made into a drink called aguas fresca which means “fresh waters.”
It is also known as the Guava and is a popular fruit that can be found in both North and South America. They can either be eaten fresh or cooked and can also be dried and stored for later use. The fruit has a sweet flavor and is rich in Vitamin C.
The fruit can be eaten fresh or it can be cooked and used in a wide variety of different desserts. It can also be dried to keep for later use.
Sources & references used in this article:
Cacti as crops by Y Mizrahi, A Nerd, PS Nobel – Hort. Rev, 1997 – books.google.com
Fruit Flesh Betacyanin Pigments in Hylocereus Cacti by S Wybraniec, Y Mizrahi – Journal of Agricultural and Food …, 2002 – ACS Publications
Oxalate reduces calcium availability in the pads of the prickly pear cactus through formation of calcium oxalate crystals by MM McConn, PA Nakata – Journal of Agricultural and Food …, 2004 – ACS Publications
Cacti of the Trans-Pecos & adjacent areas by AM Powell, JF Weedin – 2004 – books.google.com
Cacti of the Southwest: Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana by D Weniger – 1969 – books.google.com
Is geographical rarity frequent among the cacti of the Chihuahuan Desert? by HM Hernández, C Gómez-Hinostrosa… – Revista mexicana de …, 2010 – redalyc.org
Focus on cacti in South Africa by L Henderson – Sapia News, 2012 – midlandsconservancies.org.za
Avian consumption of the fruit of the cacti Stenocereus eichlamii and Pilosocereus maxonii in Guatemala by PW Wendelken, RF Martin – American Midland Naturalist, 1988 – JSTOR