Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 23, 2017

Big Bend Wildflowers 2/22/17

Big Bend National Park reports

Blooming now! The first of this year’s Prickly Pear Cactus have begun to show buds, and even a few early blooms! Usually peaking in late April, the lower elevations often have Prickly Pear blooming by March. These buds and petals were sighted along the Mariscal Rim Trail, off of River Rd East. This bloom is from a spiny-fruited prickly pear (Opuntia spinosibacca), endemic to the Trans-Pecos area, mostly growing in the Dead Horse mountains to the East of this trail. Reddish-orange spines and raised areoles are diagnostic. The Chihuahuan Desert is famous for its incredibly diversity of cactus, especially Prickly Pears!

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