Greetings and welcome to my blog, I am currently redesigning the site so some of my pictures are unfortunately missing because I had to close my sellers account that I had with the Smugmug site because as a free lance photographer I just couldn't afford it.
Once again I apologize for the bareness of my blog and will be working on it continually until I get it restored.
Thank you for your patience! -Megan

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Yellow Cactus Blossom

Greetings fellow bloggers, I had a chance to get out and snap a few pics this weekend this is one of the beautiful shots that I was blessed to have captured.  The photo features a beautiful yellow prickley pear cactus blossom. I had quite a few close up photos of the centers of these flowers and thought it would be interesting to get a different view point. This particular cactus is  "Engelmann's prickly pear"
Opuntia engelmannii also know as Texas prickly pear.

     I have created many new products in my store today featuring this photo so please check them out and let me know what you think.

Please also visit My website to view my other galleries.

Here is a little more info on the Prickly pear cactus.
Opuntia, also known as nopales or paddle cactus is a genus in the cactus family, Cactaceae.
The fruit of prickly pears, commonly called cactus fruit, cactus fig, Indian fig or tuna in Spanish, is edible, although it has to be peeled carefully to remove the small spines on the outer skin before consumption. If the outer layer is not properly removed, glochids can be ingested, causing discomfort of the throat, lips, and tongue, as the small spines are easily lodged in the skin. Native Americans, like the Tequesta, would roll the fruit around in a suitable medium (e.g. grit) to "sand" off the glochids. Alternatively, rotating the fruit in the flame of a campfire or torch has been used to remove the glochids. Today, parthenocarpic (seedless) cultivars are also available.
Cactus figs are often used to make candies, jelly, or drinks such as vodka or lemonade. My family and I have made jelly ourselves out of the fruit and it came out wonderful.
Prickly pears typically grow with flat, rounded cladodes (also called platyclades) that are armed with two kinds of spines; large, smooth, fixed spines and small, hairlike prickles called glochids, that easily penetrate skin and detach from the plant. Many types of prickly pears grow into dense, tangled structures.
Fluid ("cactus juice") extracted from Opuntia pads and stems, especially O. ficus-indica, is one of the most commonly additives in earthen plaster for walls and bricks, it had been discoverered that many Native tribes in Mexico used this technique thoughout history.

Like all true cactus species, prickly pears are native only to the Western hemisphere; however, they have been introduced to other parts of the globe. Prickly pear species are found in abundance in Mexico, especially in the central and western regions. They are also found in the Western United States, in arid regions in the Northwest, throughout the mid and lower elevations of the Rocky Mountains such as in Colorado, and especially in the desert Southwest. Prickly pears are also the only types of cactus found to grow natively far east of the Great Plains states.

Charles Darwin was the first to note that these cacti have thigmotactic anthers: when the anthers are touched, they curl over, depositing their pollen. This movement can be seen by gently poking the anthers of an open Opuntia flower.
                                           Thats all for today hope you enjoy! :)

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Megan, your pictures really are beautiful. Looks like it was a really bright and sunny day in the desert. Makes me homesick.