Prickly pear is the common name of the fruit that grows at the tops of the leaves of Nopales cacti. Spread throughout North and South America, about 200 different species of Nopales (scientific name Opuntia) cacti are found, all of which have some form of this prickly pear fruit, although not all varieties are edible. The most commonly used species in terms of eating and cooking would be the O. ficus-indica, also known as the Indian Fig Opuntia. The most interesting thing about this fruit is that it grows at the very edge of the spiny leaves of these imposing cacti, which are some of the hardiest lowland cacti in the world, a trait also taken on by its fruit. The fruits are oval in shape, and can range in color from yellow and light green to orange, pink, and red, depending on the variety and ripeness.