Prickly pear flower opening
As I mentioned last time, Austin’s prickly pear cacti, Opuntia engelmannii, were laden with buds by the middle of April this year. Some of those buds were already opening, and others have appeared and opened in the days since then. I photographed this one in St. Edward’s Park on April 20. In contrast to the previous picture, which let you look at an opening bud from the side, this one provides a mostly downward view of a bud in a slightly later stage of development.
There are lots of deer in my hilly part of Austin, and they find many a tasty plant to eat—including those in people’s gardens—but deer aren’t likely to nibble at such a well-defended flower.
© 2012 Steven Schwartzman