Sunday, August 30, 2015

Some Little Known Facts About The Barrel Cactus

 Here is a photo of a blooming barrel cactus.  Most cacti have finished blooming by this late in the summer but due to rain storms, the blooms have kept on coming.  There are many varieties of barrel cacti.  The pineapple-like yellow fruit are part of the remnants of the blossoms.  I am no expert on this topic, but I have read that the fruit of this type of cacti is not suitable for jelly-making due to its bitter taste and dry texture.  Ambitious jelly-makers take the fruit of some cacti and make jelly. Many years ago, my neighbor always asked for the fruit from my prickly pear cactus (not these barrel cacti pictured here).  And in a week or so, she would come by the house with a nice jar of prickly pear jelly and a loaf of homemade bread.  What a kind neighbor!  

Notice the spines protruding, especially visible on the left side.  Strangers and visitors to Arizona may not realize the danger of being punctured by one of these spines which may take antibiotics and months to heal if the wound actually pierces the skin.
Magnificent fiery-orange blooms.  Beware the spines, however.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Cat's Claw Vine

This is a climbing vine that grows well on walls or trellises in Arizona.  With the right temperature and adequate water, it produces beautiful yellow blossoms.  It gets its name from the three-claw climbing appendage.

The photo above shows a close-up of the 3 claw appendage that makes it such a strong climber.

Here are the lovely, buttery flowers of the Cat's Claw vine.

This photo shows a little more detail of the vine. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Beautiful Bird of Paradise

This flowering bush has the same name as a very different plant that grows in Hawaii and other tropical climates.  This Bird of Paradise is a lovely flowering plant that grows in the heat of Arizona.  Bees are attracted to the color and the nectar.

Friday, August 7, 2015


 This barrel cactus has just recently burst into bloom!  The orange flowers are beautiful and attract insects, especially bees!