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.

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