Sunday, June 9, 2013

Cactus bloom

Roses may say "I love you," but the cactus says  'F*** off.'"
 - Jarod Kintz

I took these photos of blooming cacti around my neighborhood during the first week of June. We don't have any cactus species in our own yard, but they're very common in the area. Many people use them in xeriscaping; they are a low-water plant, very hardy and heat-resistant (obviously) and they produce beautiful, bright flowers in summer. The flowers are surprisingly delicate in some cases, tough and pulpy in others, blooming right alongside primroses, buddleia and wildflowers.

Contrary to popular belief, saguaro cactus does not grow throughout the Southwest. In fact, it doesn't grow within the state of New Mexico at all. It's too cold here in the winter. We have many other varieties, though, some of which I have photographed: cholla, barrel and prickly pear are common species found here. All produce colorful flowers and some also bear fruit. Prickly pears, or nopales in Spanish, are commonly eaten and some bars will make margaritas with juice or puree from the fruit. They're not like regular pears, but they're interesting eating in their own way.

Cactus spines really do hurt, and I've helped my children remove them from their skin. I helped our poor, late dog who walked right into a cactus. Cactus is a really interesting plant. It knows how to stand up for itself. When cacti are blooming, it's a living contradiction right before your eyes - tough but beautiful survivors of this harsh climate.


  1. What pretty cacti flowers the spines look ouch! x

  2. Fabulous shots...I love Cacti...very interesting and beautiful plant...
    Great post, Jennifer!

    Linda :o)

  3. The quote you posted is hilarious!!! "Roses may say "I love you," but the cactus says "F*** off."
 haha! Lovely pictures! Wish Canada had cacti! We mostly have birch and spruce trees around here. Not very exciting. ;)

  4. I have never been attracted to cacti - (I shy away from harshness and prickles - did I say 'prickles'? - I mean stabbers!) but really do admire their beautiful flowers! And you have captured their images so well Jennifer - gosh those spikes look so threatening don't they!
    I wish you a lovely gently week doing the things that make you happy!
    Joy x

  5. Before spending time in Andalucia I did not like cactus or succulents. Now since witnessing them in their natural environment I have come to love them.but treat them with the greatest of respec

  6. Oh my, I know they have pretty flowers but they sure are scary looking! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  7. Hi Jennifer, Love the caption with your last photo!! We have a lot of prickly pears in my area and the animals have learned how to use these plants as a source of water and of course they eat the fruits as well!!! They have beautiful yellow or orange flowers and the birds love them!!! Some birds actually make their nests in the spikes!!! Nature is so amazing, isn't it?!!
    Have a happy and crafty week!!!

  8. I love cacti. These are really pretty, the first flower in particular. Where I live a cactus is pretty much the only plant I can get to survive the summer! I have tried with all kinds of plants and they all die but my hardy cacti keep going from strength to strength :) Have a great day! Elisabeth xoxo

  9. What beautiful blooms on those Catus.. Lovely to see. Hugs Judy

  10. So beautiful! I didn't realised that they flowered as well :) very interesting post!

  11. Those are beautiful pictures! We have a small cactus that grows in the wild here in Kamloops, but it is nowhere as pretty as the ones you have where you live.

  12. Such pretty and delicate flowers to accompany those nasty thorns! I have a flowering cactus (Christmas cactus) inside, but will take it out to the patio for a nice sun bathe when it's nice and warm out. Wendy

  13. Cacti give amazing flowers and this is impressive.I have in mind to post some of their flowers me too!You arrived first!But I'm afraid of their spines!

  14. They are very beautiful; more so as they appear so exotic to me and I love the contrast of prickly, hostile cactus and open blooms. x

  15. Have you ever harvested any of the fruit?? I'm always tempted but I'm afraid I don't have thick enough gloves, or that I'd get all the spines off when I boiled them. Pretty pictures! I love when the Prickly Pear blossoms.


  16. What lovely pictures Jennifer! They bloomed so beautifully.

  17. Love when cactus bloom ...alway so careful when I water my indoor varieties ...still they get me now and then !

  18. Gorgeous photos! I've had an experience with a small cactus houseplant, can't imagine what running into a large one would feel like. Thanks for visiting me and following my blog. Visiting you back from Seasonal Sundays.

  19. Such awesome photos!

    Great to have you at Seasonal Sundays!

    - The Tablescaper

  20. Hello Jennifer,

    Your post reminded me of the cactus
    we had in our front yard when we
    lived in Albuquerque.

    Thanks for the memories.
    Bear Hugs,


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