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What’s Blooming in My Yard

This is the time of year when all those prickly cacti call out for attention that isn’t painful. They’re starting to flower.

My husband and I planted every single plant within the wall that surrounds our immediate yard. The rest of our 2-1/2 acres is mostly as nature intended.

We planted desert plants because we live in the desert and see no reason to pour precious water into the ground if we don’t have to. That doesn’t mean that we don’t irrigate at all. We do — a little. But not much. You see, most of the plants are cacti.

Right now, the prickly pear cacti are flowering in my back yard. Interestingly, they’re blooming in two slightly different colors: a yellow and a pale salmon. The plants came from the same source on the same day and were planted at the same time. Why they are two different colors is beyond me.

Yellow Prickly Pear Flowers
Here’s the yellow version…

Salmon Prickly Pear Cactus Flowers
…and here’s the salmon version.

The flowers are amazing. They look almost like wax. Here’s a glimpse of them; you can click a larger photo to see it in my Photo Gallery.

What’s also interesting about these cacti is that last year they produced mostly new cactus pads. Think of the pads as branches or leaves. Each pad will produce either flowers or more pads. Last year we had lots of pads — so many that I cut some young ones off and grilled them up to have with dinner a few times. But this year it’s flowers. Don’t know how the plant decides.

Cholla Flowers
Cholla Flowers

The cholla (pronounced choy-ya) flowers — or at least one type of cholla — there are many — are also blooming. Cholla is a particularly nasty type of cactus. I can blame the poor quality of this photo on the simple fact that I refused to get close enough to this cactus for it to bite me. This type of cholla grows well in my yard; green and hardy. The flowers were a surprise; I guess I missed them last year.

More cactus flowers are on the way. I’ll try to snap photos of them as they bloom. I noticed that the new arms on our big saguaro have flower buds but the top doesn’t have any yet. I’m wondering about that.

The hedgehog cacti are just about finished blooming now. I got a great photo of one in Page, AZ last week; you can see it in this blog post. I haven’t had time to add the other photos of this cactus to my gallery; I hope to do it soon.

Not enough hours in a day.

Last 5 posts by Maria Langer

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