Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"Pickle Pear"

On Ocracoke Island be careful where you step if you venture away from the beach and off the beaten path! You might have an encounter with one of our cacti, called locally the "pickle pear." More commonly referred to as prickly pear cactus, they have sharp, smooth spikes that can pierce canvas shoes, and finer, hairlike spines that will detatch. Both can cause painful injuries to bare feet.

Our native island pickle pear cactus is in the Opuntia genus, but I don't know the species. Maybe one of our readers knows. Here's a photo that Amy took recently:

(Click on photo to see a larger image.)

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoker, Kelly O'Neal, and the 1951 revolution in Siam (Thailand). You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous9:41 AM

    My dogs know them well and say "OUCH!" Mike

  2. Debbie Leonard4:17 PM

    You can eat the fruit when it is ripe. It's good...and the seeds are supposed to be good for digestion. Just be careful when you peel it!

  3. Anonymous10:58 PM

    Okay, another silly question completely unrelated to the posting ... what do the people on Ocracoke call themselves when speaking of those who live there? Ocracokers? Locals?


  4. Jackie, One of the old names for the island was Ocock (a name still heard today, by the way). People who lived on the island often called themselves Ocockers. By common consent, the term Ococker is today reserved for native islanders who descend from one of the early families. Other residents typically call themselves Ocracokers, islanders, locals, etc.

  5. Anonymous8:59 AM

    Thanks! Jackie