Monday, August 10, 2009

Chainfruit Chollas

Chainfruit Cholla Opuntia fulgida

This cactus gets its name from the long hanging chains of fruit formed when flowers grow on the previous year's fruit. Chains can be up to two feet long.

At Sabino Canyon, chainfruit chollas are found in the lower bajada areas along with prickly pear cacti. Cactus wrens, zebra-tailed lizards and desert cottontails are easily observed in this habitat.

These cacti grow in a tree-like fashion, averaging about six feet tall, often in little forests of clones.

At the school
The Spanish names are velas de coyote (coyote's candle) and brincadora (jumper).

Chainfruits bloom from May to August. I posted a sketch of some chainfruit blossoms on my Desert Colors blog for Cactus Monday.

24 comments:

Icy BC said...

Wow, Diane...I love cactus flowers! They are so vibrant, and so beautiful!

yoon see said...

Thanks for sharing, I love the sequence shots of the bloom!
Gorgeous and inspiring!
HCM Diane!

Sunny said...

Beautiful photos. I really enjoy seeing the different plants from around the country.
Sunny :)

lizzie said...

Fabulous cactus (or is it cacti?). These plants always fascinate me.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

That is amazing, Diane. I've never seen that type of cactus before. They are really pretty... I'm thrilled to learn so much from your area.

Hugs,
Betsy

Kay said...

Wow, those are really pretty.

Kay

Lindy MacDuff said...

You just helped identify some of the cholla behind our back fence. Thank you!

Gaelyn said...

I've never seen such tall chollas. A cactus forest might be a place to be careful taking a walk, especially those jumpers.

betchai said...

the combination of the purple fruit of prickly pears and the chollas is amazing, and the bloom of the cactus is so inspiring. love all the blooms.

Judy Butler said...

I just love your blog. You are an amazing photographer with such an artistic eye for composition. I am always telling my husband, Look, Look at this one Diane posted. We are big fans. Judy

Julie said...

These are so interestingly gorgeous! I wouldn't want to get to close to one, but I like the whiteness of them. Somehow they make me think of Christmas!!! LOL.
Happy CM!

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Pam said...

That are so wonderful to see, its like candy for the eyes...
I have not seen any like these before. The desert holds so much beauty...

Cher said...

i am never a fan of cactus but i am becoming one! great cactus shots! the blooms are beautiful!

Ashley said...

I love the purple flowers! The one with the bee is great. They are so hard to photograph! I'm in Tucson now visiting family. The sunset was so beautiful last night!

Prospero said...

Diane, these are great photos of a great cactus. The desert has many charms and I'm so glad we get to experience them through your blog.

deedee said...

Your post reminds me to slow down and observe the blooms/fruit on the cactus around me. Most of the time I forget to watch all the wonderful "happenings" in our neck of the cactus :)

Phoenix C. said...

How amazing! I love your photos of these incredible cacti with those almost surreal chains of fruit! The light shining through the edges of their stems looks beautiful.

Rajesh said...

I have never seen so many variety of cactus. Snaps are very beautiful.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

That must be a fantastic sight Diane, but then I am partial to all flowers of course. :) A lovely post on these cacti. Fascinating family of plants.

Martha Z said...

I like the choya and the storm clouds in the previous post are fantastic. I'm glad you finally got some rain.

Lynda Lehmann said...

Lovely photos! The desert in indeed a beautiful place teeming with life forms, and you've captured it well.

I've not seen the chainfruit chollas when I've been there. I'd like to see them!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Diane, Me again!!! Check my blogs (yesterday's and today's). I wrote 'my' story..
Hugs,
Betsy

Dee said...

Very good post! My biggest Cholla is a chainfruit and bird killer- I found 2 new young birds speared to death this summer in its thorns....much as I love the cactus I hate how it seems to need bird blood to thrive!