What grows in the desert Sonora? Unusual cactuses of
We already got acquainted with “vegetable sight“ of the desert Sonora - Saguaro`s cactus. We continue our excursion to the most interesting desert of the world. Acquaintance to the various cactuses growing in “the American wild West“ is offered to your attention. Possibly, some of you will look with other eyes at usual plants which grow at your place on a window.
Near our house there are two hectares of own earth fenced with the metal gauze. It is a virgin piece of the desert which my husband kept in original state. Our neighbors opened the sites long ago and improved a landscape. In our territory desert plants and animals feel in perfect security. Possibly, soon ours “pass - the reserve“ can be shown to visitors as the rare corner of the desert which is not touched by the person.
A usual plant of the desert is the cactus jumping choya, or a teddy bear. Scientific name of this cactus Bidzhelou`s prickly pear ( of Opuntia bigelovii ). Published this plant looks very funny: its branches remind hands of a teddy bear. But on closer examination it turns out that all of them are entirely covered with silver prickles, their length reaches 2 - 3 cm. A fur coat from prickles - good protection against animals and influence of sunshine. Lateral branches are divided into a set of segments up to 5 cm long. In them enough moisture is reserved, and they carry out photosynthesis.
If out of curiosity to touch such branch, then it is possible to have big troubles: the choya fragment together in a large number of needles will stick to you into a finger and to tear off this souvenir will be difficult. Such focus is a plant makes also with the animals running by. Choya as if jumps on the possible victim - it is one of ways of vegetative reproduction of a cactus. The animal can run long distance until dumps from itself a prickly miracle. When it occurs, the fragment of the jumping choya quickly takes roots and gives rise to a new plant.
Height of a plush choya does not exceed 1,5 - 2 m. Blossoming of a cactus begins in February and comes to an end in May. Florets zheltovato - greenish up to 3 cm in size. Fruits are small, with a small amount of seeds. The most part of this plant breeds in the vegetative way, reproduction by seeds has minor character. Old plants from silvery become darkly - brown.
The close relative of a prigayushchy choya - choya with the hanging chains , or the tsilindropuntion sparkling (Cylindropuntia fulgida ). Published this plant looks rather as a tree in the desert than as a cactus. From the central trunk numerous branches grow. Plant received the last name from - for fruits which hang down from branches as if chains. Branches of a choya are covered with a dense bed of sharp needles. At a young plant they red color, at the adult - it is dark - gray. Needles reflect a sunlight and protect plants from the heated sun. Choya can reach in height of 5 meters, and in the diameter - 2 m. Branches of a plant are divided into segments.
The cactus blossoms from June to August. Flowers pink, fruits about 4 cm have the pear-shaped form. New flowers blossom on the ends of old fruits. So many years proceed. As a result on the ends of branches trailing chains of fruits are formed. From here the plant received the unusual name - choya with the hanging chains.
This type of a choya also possesses ability “to jump“, attaching the segments to a body of an animal and to breed vegetativno thus. Heavy chains of fruits can fall, at last, and then from seeds new cactuses begin to grow. The bird who suits nests at choya top lives in Arizona. I found such nest on our site. The bird laid 2 eggs, then nasizhivat them within a month. Baby birds hatched healthy and gluttonous. While parents departed behind food, chickabiddies felt in perfect security. Around wanders fully wild cats, but any of them does not risk to climb up such prickly plant.
Tsilindroopuntion sparkling treats the types which are under the threat of disappearance and is protected by the law.
One more unusual cactus grows on ours pass - the desert: a cactus - a hedgehog, or ekhinotsereus Boyce - Thompson ( of Echinocereus boyce - thompsonii ). Within a year - it is a small imperceptible cactus which forms a small colony. But in April there comes the time of its blossoming, and here it is impossible to pass by this miracle. On it is mute pink flowers the size in a half of a plant blossom. All of them reveal at the same time in the middle of April on 1 - 2 day. This composition looks as the Japanese ikebana. It is simply impossible to tear off a look.
This type of a cactus one of the most favourite for kaktusovod. The plant of the small size, does not demand special leaving, has the most beautiful flowers among wild and house cactuses. Flowers can vary on shades from brightly - pink to yellow! They the big size - reach 6 - 7 cm, and as if break through stalk epidermis, seeking to live short, but bright life!
On it our excursion does not come to an end. We should learn still a lot of interesting about vegetation of the desert Sonora. Of course, first of all we will continue acquaintance to the world of unusual cactuses.