This cactus flowers from April to July and produces the fruits from August to October. They taste very good, but an expert has to peel them as the tiny spines will be in your fingers for days. It is believed that this plant was native to central Mexico, but has spread to the Mediterranean by carrying the fruits by ship to prevent scurvy. At the moment many of these plants are dying in Andalusia due to infestation by the Cochineal beetle. The plants are covered in a fine white powder, and gradually die unfortunately.