Bobby A Reed Harold L Barger Ralph M Gaither Stranded students rescued by Brown County cooperation 4-H Teen Ambassador Dunning attends SHOT Show Veterans Service Commission invites veterans to seek help with benefits Unemployment rate rises in Brown County Pick a Lollipop, help a dog A season to remember G-Men hit the field for first baseball scrimmage Eastern’s Rigdon, Purdy earn AP SE District Div. III honors New blocking, kicking rules address risk minimization in high school football Judy A Schneider James M Darnell Lawanda R Truesdell Paul E Grisham Arrelous R Rowland Dennis E Stivers David M Daniels Fayetteville man is charged with child porn April 1st Grand Opening for Jacob’s Ladder Resale Boutique in Georgetown Talent Show auditions at Gaslight Theatre Nine indicted by county grand jury Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall visit coming next May to BC Fairgrounds In it to win it! Bronco wrestlers end season on successful note Eastern’s Hopkins finishes 5th in long jump at OATCCC State Indoor Track and Field Meet SBAAC awards academic all-stars, winning teams Marvin D Atkin Beverly S Flatt Jessie M Sanders Leroy Deck Sr Jody A Towler Sherman E Young Kenneth C Burton Varnau’s face second defamation suit Attorney General to visit Georgetown schools Clermont County GOP hosts Wenstrup, DeWine at dinner Fatal car crash in Adams County BC Chamber welcomes new Cricket Wireless store to Mt. Orab Aberdeen Council approves 2017 budget Royce K Zimmerman Lady Warriors advance to Elite 8 SBAAC awards boys basketball all-stars SBAAC girls basketball all-stars take home awards SHAC Winter Sports Awards Banquet set for March 12 Altman claims 170-pound district title Sirkka L Buller Arthur C Schneider Lowell G Neal Virginia M Schirmer Connie S Darling Harold L Purdin Terry E Frye Lucille Schumacher Lady Warriors roll to district finals Broncos take care of business to claim sectional crown G-Men upset MVCA to earn berth sectional finals WBHS JROTC Rifle Team competes at Camp Perry Lady Rockets finish 12-12 Season reaches end for Rockets Eugene D Ring Two indicted on major drug charges Two charged with home invasion Cincinnati airport expanding services, lowering prices in effort to compete Two sentenced in common pleas court Georgetown man hurt in car crash Robert G Miller Linda M Howland Robert E McKinney Mildred J Hodges Farrel L Amiott Patricia Brown Rick L Dye Mary E Nagel Betty Ratliff Broncos claim SBAAC wrestling title Broncos pull ahead for win over G-Men in SBAAC Tourney Ripley boys wrap up regular season with win at Lynchburg Eastern girls are sectional champs Anderson pleads not guilty to battery charge Some county offices to change locations Fayetteville prepares for Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall HealthSource hosts Chamber of Commerce meeting Five sentenced in Brown County Common Pleas Court June Howser Marguerite A Fender Timothy D Harris Jay R Purdy Robin S Godwin Marc A Wachter Chester W Eyre Warriors blast past the G-Men, 61-40 Rockets performing well heading into post-season tournament play Lady Warriors bring home the Gold with perfect 13-0 finish in SHAC Western Brown Junior High wrestling team wraps up successful season Rockets fall victim to ‘Pack’ attack Broncos suffer heartbreaking loss to Mentor Lake Catholic in state quarterfinals Adult Education Center coming to county ‘Senior Playground’ moving forward at Georgetown park

Prickly beauties best seen at a distance

The first time I observed the beautiful yellow blooms of the Eastern Prickly-Pear Cactus, I was on a plant rescue for the Heritage Garden at the Ohio Governor’s Residence. Large clumps were blooming everywhere along a runway close to a small airport in northern Ohio.

A few years ago, fellow OSUE Brown County Master Gardener volunteer Susan Barber shared a “start” of the prickly beauty and added a warning, “Don’t ever handle this without heavy gloves.”

I planted the cactus close to a weeping crabapple tree and soon realized I had made a serious error. I would check on the cactus every time I got the mail and would find the stems scattered and pulled up from the ground. After a closer look, I discovered deer tracks around the area. The deer were walking on the cactus to reach the crabapples. The only good news is that they may have left with a few spines in their legs.

My patch of cactus has never grown too big because of my deer “buddies,” and a few times as I have weeded around it, I accidentally touched the stems and they penetrated my cloth gloves. I spent the next few days applying liquid white glue to my fingers trying to eradicate the spines. Now I admire these beautiful yellow flowers (sometimes with red centers) from a safe distance.

Last year, the Wednesday Weeders at the Governor’s Heritage Garden enjoyed learning about cooking prickly-pear cactus. I have to admit that I will probably never try it at home after suffering through those few little spines embedded in my fingers.

Robert L. Henn, author of “Wildflowers of Ohio,” describes Eastern Prickly-Pear (Opuntia humifusa) as being recognized more often by its distinctive stems rather than by its flowers. The stems are large, flattened, jointed pads, three inches wide, and are covered with needle-like spines and tiny barbed spines that are difficult to remove from the skin. This is the only native cactus growing east of the Mississippi River. It is a rare plant in Ohio, listed as a potentially threatened species by the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves and is a native to Ohio.

Prickly-pear cactus can be found in select sites throughout Ohio and thrives in dry, rocky, sandy areas such as dunes, prairies and shores. June and July are the months you can catch this prickly beauty in bloom.

I can’t believe that it is almost time to talk about our July list of gardening tasks. My tomatoes have grown a foot with all this rain and heat. It is time to tuck the vines back inside the cages and check for signs of disease. It might be time to start the weekly preventative treatment with fungicide.

Don’t forget to email your gardening questions to OSUE Brown County Master Gardener volunteer Mike Hannah at mhannah2@msn.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2016 News Democrat