Environmental Influences on Cactus Pear Fruit Yield, Quality and Cold Hardiness and Development of Hybrids with Improved Cold Hardiness


Development of freeze-hardy clones of cactus pears is the principal limitation to establishing
commercial cactus-pear plantations in Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico (Uphof, 1916;
Griffiths, 1915; Nobel,1990; Russell and Felker 1987; Gregory et al., 1993). While most winters
in south Texas are sufficiently mild that little or no damage to cactus pears occurs, about every
10 to 15 years, severe cold fronts originating in Canada reach the southern portions of the
United States. These severe weather patterns offer little opportunity for plants to become
hardened off because these fronts may bring the first below freezing temperatures of the
winter, as well as below- freezing temperature for 24 to 48 consecutive hours, with minimum
temperatures of S12°C (Gregory et al., 1993).





Scientific Papers