Lori Ziemba wrote:
"Are you talking about cochineal, the red dye that was used to color the coats of the British army? That is actually made from a scale insect that lives on the prickly pear cactus. That is why the cactus was brought back to Europe and the Middle East. They wanted to grow it for the dye, which was very expensive. However, the plants escaped and are now a pest in many areas. "
Thanks Lori - very interesting about cochineal. I was referring to the original posting in this discussion where he mentions it is used as a dye. I'm not sure if he meant the actual cactus or the cochineal.