Wednesday, December 1, 2010

desert flora

KC asked if the plant I showed in the last post was a Joshua tree...nope, it's a cholla cactus.  There are about 30 different species of cholla and all are nasty, awful things.  When hiking, be prepared with a metal comb to pick off spines.  This cactus is sometimes called the jumping cholla or jumping cactus because the pieces break off with the slightest brush.  The spines really cause problems if they get stuck in you.  Some people use needle nose pliers-we have been able to remove any spines by using the comb technique.  Dogs should be kept on a leash in this kind of environment-poor pups have no idea what these cholla can do and they'll stick their muzzle near the plant and get a snootful. 

Here are some nice pictures I took last winter of cholla and other plants:
Teddy Bear cholla-don't they look soft and fuzzy?
Ocatilla cactus in a nature display at Anza Borrego

Saquaro cactus with cholla and ocatillo

lichen on rocks in Organ Pipe National Monument

fishhook cactus almost in bloom
organ pipe cactus at dusk in Organ Pipe National Monument


  1. Beautiful photographs. So many varieties of cacti, and each one unique. Hope your winter is full of good times!

  2. Cactus looks SO beautiful and exotic. My, it's been a long time since I've been to the desert! Hope you have a wonderful time travelling.

  3. Oops, my bad. Can you tell I don't leave the (extensive) LA city limits much?
    Have a great time, and keep your distance from the cholla!

  4. Thanks for the beautiful photos and knowledgable info about such a wonderful variety of cacti. Be careful!!!


I love your comments and enjoy the conversation that results.