Category Archives: Desert Plants

The ‘Don’t Touch Me’ World of Cactus Spines

Living in Arizona has taught me a few things about the Danger of Cactus Spines! While it is unlikely they would cause any serious reaction, the punctures can be painful! When I go on a ‘Nature’ walk, I carry a pair of pliers to pull cactus spines out of the soles of my shoes. When […]
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Saguaro Cactus – Slow Growing Giants

Plant Profile Common Name: Saguaro Cactus Scientific Name: Carnegiea gigantea Native to: Sonoran desert – limited to southern Arizona Growth: all growth occurs at the tip of the cactus. The rate of growth is very slow. Under natural conditions it may take 20 years to attain one foot in height. By age 50 it could […]
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The Prickly Ocotillo – I Wish Mine Would Grow Leaves

There are plants on the Arizona hillsides that look like bunches of spiny crooked dead sticks. They are the Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens). The photo above is of my plants. They are leafless. Small 2 inch leaves will grow from the stems when there is enough moisture. They may lose these leaves, and then sprout new […]
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Intricate Fairy Duster Flowers

The Baja Fairy Duster (Calliandra californica) is an evergreen, drought tolerant bush that grows at the Big River House in Arizona. The intricate flowers attract hummingbirds. This photo challenge was particularly ‘challenging’ because our internet service provider is having problems with the tower that services our area (it got damaged in a wind storm). They […]
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Curves Found in Clouds and Cactus

Clouds are not as common in Arizona as they are in Alberta. One day, however I saw these ‘comma’ clouds, with a trio of Saguaro cactus stretching up as if to catch the wisps! These clouds reminded me of punctuation. Don’t they look like big apostrophes or commas except they curve the wrong way?  I […]
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Arizona Cactus: A Yard Full of Prickles

We spent part of our winter in Arizona. The landscaping in our yard is more aptly called hardscaping since it is mostly paving stones and rock. There are a number of green plants – most of them of the prickly variety. Here they are, up close in all their spiny glory. Golden Barrel Cactus ___________________ […]
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Future Tense – Arizona Cactus Buds and Blooms

I’m spending part of my winter in Arizona cactus country, and the past week has been pretty exciting. All sorts of interesting things are popping out the sides and tops of the cacti in these parts. I have no idea what the flowers will look like, nor how long it will take before they bloom. […]
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