Opuntias are becoming increasingly popular. As the climate is warming, more people are experimenting with planting outdoors. At least 100 species of opuntia are hardy outdoors in europe , most with no protection at all.
Opuntias also make a good diet supplement for tortoises and other reptiles and are easy to grow and propagate for a renewable food supply. Many are edible by humans too.
Prickly pears can be strikingly architectural plants and make just about the easiest houseplant to care for. Most will flower readily (given a little space!). They also make ideal burglar deterrents - either in flower beds or on window-sills!
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