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Beautiful Cactus Flowers

How anything so prickly and uninviting as a cactus can produce something as delicate and beautiful as a cactus flower seems a miracle. But then again, don’t we all hide our most sensitive qualities under a prickly exterior sometimes?

Beautiful cactus Flower

Cacti showing their (almost) true colours at Huntington Gardens in San Marino, CA:

cactus face or cactus pizza

What do you think, cactus face or cactus pizza?

Beautiful pink cactus flower

Tiny miracle – a beautiful pink cactus flower with ants crawling over it for good measure:

Beautiful small pink and orange flowers

Beautiful small pink and orange flowers, captured in Sacramento, CA:

Many cactus flowers are night blooming as they get pollinated by nocturnal insects like moths or small animals like bats. Depending on the cactus species, the flower shapes can be tube-like, bell-like or wheel-shaped. Sizes range from one fifth of a centimetre to 15-30 cm.

A field of cacti or cactus soldiers

A field of cacti or cactus soldiers?

sea of cactus wool

A bit of yellow in a sea of cactus “wool” – a true winner, taken in the Peruvian Andes at an altitude of 4,000 m:

Cactus cupcakes flower

Cactus cupcakes, anyone?

A shining star among the cactus flowers

A shining star among the cactus flowers:

Except for the Rhipsalis baccifera cactus species that can be found across the tropics of the world, cacti are prevalent in the Americas but with their growing popularity, have been imported all over the world. Among the most common and well-known are Prickly Pears, Barrel cacti, Saguaro cacti (featuring in most Western films), Aztekium cacti, and Echinopsis a.k.a. the hedgehog cactus that can be found as houseplants on many window sills.

barrel cactus flower

The many flowers of this barrel cactus have matured into fruits that themselves seem to form a flower again

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