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Cholla Cactus Growth

A couple of years ago, a Cholla Cactus sprout appeared in the xeriscape on the west side of the house toward the front. At the time, we decided to let it grow where it sat. I took the first photo below about a year ago and posted a 3D picture of the little cactus then.

Cholla Cactus One Year Ago

Today, as I walked around the property, I took the next photo below of the growing cactus. It seems to be growing quite rapidly, and a closer inspection of the cactus shows more “branches” beginning to sprout.

The Cholla As It Looks Today

From the other blog:

Opuntia acanthocarpa – buckhorn cholla

The main trunk of this tree-like cactus is short and erect; branching open and low to ground. Branches are cylindrical; the joints light green.

Habit: native perennial shrub; succulent stems, in segments 4-20 in (10-50 cm) tall by 0.75-1.25 in (2-3 cm) diameter; new growth is gray-green to purple-green; old growth has rough, scaly, brownish black bark.

Flower: delicate, lemon yellow to copper to red to pink, 2-3 in (5-7.5 cm) wide.

Buckhorn Cholla Cactus Flower

Verna sent me up into the wash behind our house on the west side to fetch a plastic water bottle that had blown in or washed in from the construction up on the hill behind our house. I did as she said and retrieved the bottle but while I was up there, I saw this nice cactus flower. I used my Samsung Galaxy S23 phone camera to catch this photo of the flower.

The flower is blooming on a Buckhorn Cholla Cactus, which is growing in the wild in our back yard. There are a lot of these open today on the several Buckhorn Cacti, but this one seemed to be the prettiest.

Click on the image to enlarge in the image viewer.

Spring Flowers Opening

Since we were late to the grand flower opening at home this spring, we may have missed some of the cactus and other blooms in our xeriscape garden, but, not to worry – there are plenty more flowers coming soon. Verna snapped this photo today of a prickly pear cactus flower on the west side of our yard near the fence line. There were several flowers open today and there will be many more over the next few weeks.

Keep an eye out for more flowers when they show up here.

Green Ocotillo

Our neighbor, Tim, brought us this Ocotillo a few years back. Since being transplanted here, it has flourished in our backyard. This spring, it has a very showy coat of fine green leaves. The flowers at the tips of the canes haven’t started blooming yet, but they likely will do so this summer.

More about Fouquieria splendens:

These peculiar desert plants bring a sense of wonder to the arid landscapes they thrive in with their distinctive and stunning appearance. They are popular in xeriscape gardens and can be found in many commercial landscaping designs in regions with warm, dry climates. Plants are sometimes grown in medicinal gardens for their healing properties.

Ocotillo may appear to be a cactus because of its spiny branches, but this is a flowering desert shrub. When in flower, the vivid reddish-orange blossoms become heavy, tipping the branches and making for a striking display. Pollinators enjoy the nectar and the blooms are like magnets, drawing hummingbirds and flying insects to them when in bloom. If you’re interested in adding more resilient, unique, and pollinator-friendly plant species to your water-wise garden or landscape, ocotillo is an excellent choice!

(From Gardeners Path)