Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for December 25th, 2012

Christmas cactus

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Appropriately enough for today’s date, here’s a photograph of a dense and intricate Cylindropuntia leptocaulis, known as (desert) Christmas cactus and (desert) Christmas cholla, as well as pencil cactus and tasajillo. Notice how woody the stems become when tasajillo ages, and also in this case the way those woody stems bent downward as they grew.

I photographed this Christmas cactus at the Spring Lake Natural Area in San Marcos on November 15th, during the same session that brought you pictures of hierba del marrano, ball moss, and most notably a bird holding a frog in its bill.

To see the places in the southwestern United States where Cylindropuntia leptocaulis grows, you can check out the state-clickable map at the USDA website. In addition, tasajillo is native in parts of northern Mexico.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 25, 2012 at 6:16 AM

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