Some people pass down jewelry as precious family heirlooms. Others pass down cuttings from prickly pear cactus plants! At least, resident Perry Wellness Center designer Jeff Williams does!
In 1984, Jeff was first presented a cutting of a prickly pear cactus by Americus resident Terry Pennington. Since then, the cutting has been separated and plants grown from these cuttings have been placed in six different locations. These next generation plants decorated the yards of Jeff and various friends, and one now welcomes visitors to the new office and classroom building on the PWC campus.
“This first cactus piece has been hanging around with me for years,” Jeff says. “I love to make healthy juice from the burgundy pods on the ends of mature leaves.”
He selected the next placement of a plant cutting with care. “I used this 6th generation cactus in a main planting on the front of the new building,” he notes. “It has a beautiful flower that welcomes visitors.”
When PWC founder and CEO Stuart Perry discovered the new planting, he reminisced, “When I was a kid, the ‘prickly pear’ was a dangerous plant, and the thorns hurt. My dad and mom passed along the history of this dangerous plant. I am happy that Jeff has now passed along a good legacy of the plant.”
As seen in the photo above, this prickly pear cactus seems right at home in its new location, and it doesn’t look a bit dangerous!