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Cacti: Writing a Book Together:

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Cultivar e-magazin

Rain streams in the desert

Cylindropuntia echinocarpa Cacti grow at the slope abowe the streambed

Cylindropuntia ramoissima fruits

Ferocactus cylindraceus between limestown rocks

Ferocactus cylindraceus fruits

Ferocactus cylindraceus on the rock cliff

Echinocereus engelmannii above the cliff

This article is a part of Cultivar's projest: Cacti - Writing a Book Together
(section "Travels")

Mojave Desert Cacti

by Vladimir Malov, California USA

Echinocereus engelmannii, Ferocactus cylindraceus

    Mojave Desert Cacti:
  1. Joshua Tree National Park
  2. Red Rocks Park. Black Velvet Canyon
  3. Zion National Park
  4. Kolob
  5. Virgin River Gorge
  6. 13 mile campground
  7. Blue Diamond

Blue Diamond

Ferocactus cylindreus Echinocereus engelmannii Escobaria vivipata v deserti Opuntia basilaris Opuntia engelmannii Cylindropuntia echinocarpa Cylindropuntia ramoissima

Ferocactus cylindraceus, Cylindropuntia echinocarpa

Cylindropuntia echinocarpa

Ferocactus cylindraceus

Ferocactus cylindraceus

Ferocactus cylindraceus, Cylindropuntia echinocarpa

Echinocereus engelmannii with the fruit

Ferocactus cylindraceus seedling

Escobaria desertii

Echinocereus engelmannii - almost white spines

Cylindropuntia ramoissima

Escobaria desertii

Echinocereus engelmannii at locality with almost white spines

When the rain eases up I throw my wet tent in the car – it'll dry out there – and go for a ride along the nearby Highway 159. In ten or so miles I stop by a limestone cliff dotted with Ferocacti that I could spot from the road.

A full stream of rainwater runs at the base of the cliff. This place gets a lot more moisture, and unlike the desert slopes around it even has large willow trees and a lot of greenery. Cacti grow further up the slope, about thirty feet higher than the other plants, among the inhospitable sands and rocks. There are many young Ferocacti and Escobaria seedlings.

Returning to the car I hit Highway 160 and in about twenty minutes reach a mountain pass. I want to check if there are any Echinocaraus mojavensis growing up here, half a mile above the desert floor. One of the slopes above the pass is densely covered with juniper and pine forest, the other side is mostly naked, with only low bushes and Opuntias showing. Which does suggest I might find other cacti as well.

With the rain starting up again I head for the Opuntia-covered slope. These plants are new to me, and I'm not sure which species they are – possibly Opuntia engelmannii again. The plants grow low along the slope, never reaching higher than my knees. Among the Opuntias there are Echinocereus engelmannii plants. None of them are too large, and all of them have unusual almost white spines.

Surprisingly there are also a lot of Escobaria desertii. I've never seen so many of these plants before, and always thought that it was a rare plant, but I guess the conditions are optimal here.

Finally I get back in my car and drive to the airport. My four days of desert and cacti are over.



Opuntia engelmannii and Escobaria desertii

Escobaria desertii

Echinocereus engelmannii - larger plant

Opuntia engelmannii and Yuccas

Echinocereus engelmannii and Agave nevadensis

The end


Cultivar e-magazin: Copyright (c) by Valery Kalishev, Chelyabinsk, Russia, since 2000.
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