What grows in the desert Sonora? Cactuses - barrels of
in the territory of our small reserve can be found very unusual cactuses. They quite big by the size, have sometimes the unusual form and look as fantastic sculptures. It will be a question of ferokaktusa.
About 25 types of these cactuses grow in the desert Sonora. The word “Ferocactus“ means “a wild cactus“. These plants always have the cylindrical form, or a barrel form. Along with saguaro they treat the largest cactuses of deserts of North America. I want to acquaint readers with two types of ferokaktus which grow in our territory.
Ferokaktus Vislitsena ( of Ferocactus wislizenii ). All representatives of this look have distinct edges on which long prickles settle down. On the central part of an edge there are powerful thorns bent in the form of a fishing hook. From - for this feature them sometimes call a cactus - a barrel - “a fishing hook“.
Young cactuses have spherical shape, they grow very slowly, being gradually extended, and get or a cylindrical form, or turn into a certain garden sculpture which form cannot be described.
For example, such monster grows in our economic court yard. At some moment from - for excess of water, with change of the center of gravity and under the influence of forces of terrestrial gravitation ferokaktus began to be bent and approach the earth, did not take a horizontal position yet. I do not undertake to predict, how old is he, most likely, is close to one hundred. You see that the two hundred-liter barrel behind looks how a small glass, in comparison with this lying cactus. Its size is about 3,5 m. I within six years watch it and noticed that he feels perfectly, despite unusual situation.
Gardeners use unusual plasticity of a ferokaktus long ago. Once I was at excursion in a local botanical garden and stiffened before a live sculpture. Ferokaktus lay on the earth, “following“ from the broken vase. It was bent in several places and reminded the stiffened water flow. Gardeners created this sculpture probably not one decade. I very much regretted that with me there was no camera.
This type of a ferokaktus “imposes“ special requirements for the growth: soil has to have a good drainage, plentiful rainfall and a lot of sun are necessary. All this is available in Arizona: soil is very well passable for water, during a season of monsoons within three months plentiful rainfall drops out that gives the chance to a cactus to reserve necessary moisture. Well, and 350 sunny days in a year provide necessary light and warmly for this purpose “the exacting gentleman“!
The cactus blossoms during the period from July to September. Flowers brightly - orange, grow as a crown on a cactus top, their size fluctuates from 3 to 6 cm, keep for a long time.
Fruits of yellow color, oblong and very juicy. Indigenous people of America - Indians, cooked flowers of a ferokaktus and used them as a garnish (as “cabbage“) to meat dishes. From later flowers prepared drinks, something like our compote. The cactus was used by bright Indians as the center for cooking. For this purpose they cut off the top part of a plant, cut out cellulose from there. Then lowered inside hot stones together with food. Thorns of a cactus used as a needle for sewing, as a pricker, and also for drawing a tattoo. The pulp of a cactus went for production of candies. In emergency situations Indians ate pulp of a cactus I am eager to be supported and satisfy.
Such barbarous relation to a plant led to the fact that it appeared on the verge of disappearance. Now this look is protected by the law. Candies, needles and other things Indians buy in shops now.
The second cactus relating to this sort, ferokaktus cylindrical (Ferocactus cylindraceus). This is the typical inhabitant of the desert Sonora.
Young plants have the round form, there is no sharp distinction between prickles and thorns, but in an adult state the formation tendency of “fishing hooks“, as at the previous look is noted. The difficult system of prickles and thorns provides reliable protection against animals, for example, rabbits who had no objection to regale on juicy pulp of a cactus.
Height of an adult plant fluctuates from 1,5 to 3 meters. Flowers zelenovato - yellow. Fruits are yellow, juicy, are a favourite delicacy for desert birds. They spend much time, pecking out their juicy pulp.
Here such surprising cactuses live in extreme conditions of hot climate and deficiency of water within 9 months.
The desert Sonora does not hurry to share the secrets. But, believe me, we should make a lot more interesting discoveries …