prickly pear

It has been used as a boundary marker for peoples land since the first nomadic settlers needed to protect themselves against man and beast. You can find whole villages in Morocco protected in this manner, so careful when you jump a wall, as behind you could be in for a sharp surprise.

The "prickly pear" is the cactus fruit or fig and is ripe from July- Sept. It grows, protected by the sharp thorns of the cactus plant safe from all animals. It is used against mild stomach problems and tastes like an under ripe kiwi. It will be found for sale when in season in most Moroccan villages.

sharp thorns of cactus

The prickly pear's high water and vitamin content make it a favourite with the local villagers where it grows and has been used by sailors of the sand and sea for generations as a fruit to take on board. A long pole with a wire net attached to its end is used to collect the prickly pear from its sharp house.

Plantations of cactus used as boundary markers