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Can you hug a cactus? Many of them seem cute, almost huggable. And some even have cute names, like "teddy bear cholla", or "queen of the night". Their blossoms are often magnificent, with a riot of colors and shapes varying from the incredibly ornate to the simply improbable. We feature some of them here, together with agaves, aloes, yuccas and other pointed plants. We recommend that you hug just the art. Both you and the prickly things will be happier. Digitography is made for flowers and plants. Take a look. Be sure and check our other galleries as well; they overlap a little.
For your convenience, we've placed only a few images on each page of this gallery. When you are ready, go to page 2 or 3 in this Gallery, or use the tags at the top to view other galleries on our site and place your order.
After the Rain©. The brilliant colors of this hibiscus are startling, standing out unmistakably from the green leaves. Here the rosette of petals perfectly surrounds the center. Look carefully and you can trace the veins of each leaf, interrupted only by the droplets from this morning’s rain.
April Flowers. When there have been generous winter rains, the desert celebrates the spring with a fantastic bloom. Here, the bloom ranges through the foreground to the yellow-blossomed palo verdes in the background. The yucca seen in midrange is waiting a few weeks before it too becomes the center of attention.
Best Blooms© are those of a trichocereus cluster. These wonderful, short columnar cacti, typically bloom in April with enormous colorful and complex flowers. Each bloom begins at sundown and lasts no longer than the next mid-day. But by that time they have nourished countless insects, birds and bats. Not to mention nourishing our eyes. Here they are for your early morning pleasure.
Cactus Crowd©. It all began with a single Texas barrel cactus. Then the crowd began to grow with friends of the first guy. But finally a new kid decided to get in on the fun. Here a lush prickly pear has added itself to the mix, brightening it up with its bright yellow flowers. Be careful: even the new kid has sharp spines.
Cactus Garden©. Somewhere north of Tucson and East of Phoenix a little garden of fire barrel cactus and yucca is growing. This little garden is sprinkled with wild flowers accenting the rugged beauty of the cactus in every season. Let your eyes take a walk through this exciting garden.
Full House. Trichocereus are unique cacti. Most will guarantee a few enormous blooms—but they bloom sequentially. Sometimes a few flowers will open together. This is the unlikely winning poker hand—a full house with 10 blossoms all in view together. Savor it now—you may never see a more lovely one.
Garden Dragon©. This could be a bug’s eye-view of a gigantic prehistoric creature looming suddenly from behind the foliage. But this little lizard is really only a few inches long and is the friendly sort, living among the cactus flowers for protection. And not coincidentally, the garden dragon is no doubt enjoying the snacks that flutter toward him.
Ocotillo Inspectors©. The entire field has almost nothing dressing it up other than these strange thorny sticks and a few clusters of cholla. But from time to time in the summer, the monsoon rains bring sufficient moisture for those sticks to bloom and even green up a bit. Now the javelinas are out hunting for succulent roots and checking to be sure that everything is flowering beautifully. It is.
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One last comment: We know these images are tempting; they are also copyrighted. Downloading for printing or other copying is expressly forbidden.