Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for May 17th, 2013

Prickly pear and stonecrop

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Prickly Pear Cactus Mottled in Stonecrop Colony 4097

Click for better sharpness.

Behold a prickly pear cactus, Opuntia engelmannii, in various stages simultaneously. A new pad, with its hook-like little leaves that soon vanish, is growing on the edge of a paler green and somewhat mottled pad, and behind them a dead and dry pad has lost almost all its green but has taken on textures and patterns that are visually appealing. I found this three-stage cactus surrounded by a dense colony of yellow stonecrop, Sedum nuttallianum, a low succulent whose tiny flowers you can make out, especially to the left of the cactus. Today marks stonecrop’s first appearance in these pages. Like the last two pictures, this one comes from McKinney Falls State Park on May 6.

To see the places in the south-central United States where yellow stonecrop grows, you can check the state-clickable map at the USDA.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 17, 2013 at 6:12 AM

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