Finally, not a cholla! (I love chollas. Sorry.) The organ pipe is one of the grand daddies of all the cacti—it even has its own National Monument!
The organ pipe is very distinctive: it has a handful of narrow stems that grow from a single base. The “pipes” are about 6″ in diameter and grow to about 16′ tall.
Sometimes we don’t set off with a destination in mind. We get in the Jeep with the dog, some water, the camera and go. Somewhere along the line we’re bound to see a cool old car, a mine shaft, a new road, or a mountain. On a beautiful desert January day, we spotted an arroyo that needed some exploring, so we went.
Sprocket loved having his Ruffwear boots to protect him from the cacti spines! He’s a trooper when we have to help him but it’s nice to have a little bit of protection.
Sprocket’s Grip Trex boots were provided by Ruffwear.
Buckhorn cholla is found throughout southern Nevada and Utah and throughout Arizona (its range also extends into northern Mexico). It has stem segments that are about 6″ long and grows into a tall (2′-8′) shrub like structure.
The Buckhorn Cholla blooms in early summer producing yellow flowers about 3″ wide.
A couple weekends ago, we joined in on a sunset tour of Childs Mountain. The road to the top is usually gated but Cabeza Prieta opens the gate once a month for the public. The views were incredible and made us want to get out and explore, explore, explore!
Teddy Bear Cholla
The teddy bear cholla might look cuddly but these cute little cacti drop “cholla balls” that easily stick to shoes and dog paws and legs. This cholla grows in tree like structures about 1-3 feet high and is often surrounded by other cholla that grew as clones from the dropped stems.
Cholla (choy-YA) is a part of the cactus family (Cactacea) and the genus cylindropuntia (“cylindrical stems”). There are several species of cholla in the Sonoran Desert. And with that introduction, our first Cacti Of The Week:
Grows in a bush like orientation up to about 1 meter tall (some can grow to as large as 2 meters). Pencil cholla has short, narrow stem segments with sparse, but long, spines. The pencil cholla flowers in May-June and produces small fruit.