I am learning so much about this area we are in that I want to do a series called The Wild, Wild West and show you a bit about all the fascinating cacti native to the area and the next one will be about the ten most dangerous creatures here. Let’s dive in!
Of course we already know about the giant saguaro, but that is just the biggest, tallest cactus in this area. There are so many more!
Some don’t have “arms” but others have many!
This fuzzy-looking cactus is called “cholla” and there are so many varieties, it’s crazy! I see this all over the resort, along the highways, and in the landscaping of many neighborhoods we’ve driven through outside of Red Rock (the small town the resort where we are at close to Tucson).
I like this one because of its name, but this one isn’t as common here as it is in California and Mexico. Despite the fuzzy appearance, these are not wise to touch, like most cacti native to the state. Many of the different cacti have beautiful flowers and edible fruits, the most famous of these is the prickly pear.
The purple color gets more vibrant the longer it goes without rainfall.
The next photo is what we commonly refer to as prickly pear, but that is for the fruit. It makes a tasty margarita by the way!
This beehive cactus likes Rocky hillsides in mountainous areas, so naturally we see these a lot!
Another variety of cholla, the Diamond Cholla can grow to 6ft but is usually shorter, can have many stems and branches, and is characterized by long tubercles. Not something you want to grab hold of if you start to fall! Also known as the pencil cholla.
I’m going to stop here and cover more later. If you Google each type of cacti I’ve shown you, you’ll see their scientific names and lots more factoids about them. So fascinating and beautiful, to me anyway! I hope you’ve enjoyed the first part of the series!