I don't believe that for a NY minute. Prickly Pear cactus is an arid climate plant, PA is not an arid climate state. However, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and neighboring states are. What are the names of those references?
I think there is a cactus native to PA, but don't know if it grows fruit like a prickly pear. There was same growing in the woods where I used to work and the owner said it's native. It was growing on stone.
When I saw it I was hunting spring gobbler, never knew it to be prickly pear but could easily see it was some type of cactus, never did see the blossoms or the fruit but I remember the cactus. I was a little North of the watergap, Fed land, sometime in the early to mid 80's.
Seeing this thread I googled cactus in poconos and found the two links. And I just learned the cactus I saw back then was prickly pear
I learned how sweet they were when I was working in Mexico. Every now and then Weis has them in the produce
section. Get them every time I see them. They are really sweet. Use a pair of gloves when you peal them, they
still have them little spines on them.
I have a patch of prickly pear that was here when I bought the place in 1992. Comes up every year. Tasted the pears once, a lot like rasberry applesauce. The stuff grows all over the dunes around Cape Henlopen DE. Here it blooms every father's day. flowers last only a few days.