Thursday, April 18, 2013

The blooming desert

It's so entrancing to spend time in a different landscape -- and the desert landscape here in Tucson couldn't be more different from that on Canada's west coast.  I've spent the last three days braving cactus spines to take photos of the amazing desert plants here. This is the perfect season for it, as just about every cactus is in bloom or coming into bloom.

Here are just a few of these gorgeous plants.

The prickly pear cactus in several comes with colours of pink or yellow,

And then there's the gorgeous purple paddled Santa Rita with its heavenly lemon-coloured blooms.

I'm not sure which types are used to make the prickly pear syrup used here to create a pretty margarita. 
Here are the flowers of the Cholla, they also come in gorgeous colours. The bees seem to love this one. Most of the flowers have a pollen-drunk bee buzzing around inside.

The Saguaros are not quite in bloom yet but their showing definite buds on the ends of their arms. I am hoping to see their flowers before I have to leave.

 The barrel cactus has golden orange blooms, and here's another one with heavenly magenta.

We can't forget the Ocotillo with its waving stems of flame red,

Or the Yucca's spike of creamy white flowers.  This one was so heavy that it drooped over.

Back in Victoria the trees are blooming pink this time of year, but Tucson is coloured with the pale greenish-yellow of the Palo Verde.  It's stunning in full flower, don't you think?
When the flowers drop they cover the roads in golden snow.


  1. Beautiful Photos !
    Don't your love the fact the cactus is rather rough plant with painful needles but have the most delicate tissue paper thin blossom that outshines any rose ? And the colors are outstanding.
    I love the Cholla blossoms but that is one cactus I really despise. They don't call it Jumping Cactus for nothing.
    Looks like you had a lovely day out.

    cheers, parsnip


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