Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

The other fasciated species I saw in the Southwest

with 24 comments

Fishhook Barrel Cactus with Fasciated Flowers 3038

After the fasciated saguaro you recently saw and the fasciated spectacle pod you’d seen last fall, I’m finishing up that theme by showing you the other fasciated species I encountered in the Southwest: Ferocactus wislizeni, known as a fishhook barrel cactus. Normally its flowers are (approximately) round, but you can see that the two prominent ones on this specimen were stretched out. (If you’d like, you can compare the similar elongation in a prairie verbena flower head that appeared here in 2013.)

I took this picture near the visitor center for Sabino Canyon in northeast Tucson on October 2, 2014, shortly before I came across a fasciated saguaro close by (different from the one I found the following day that you’ve already seen.)

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 25, 2015 at 5:30 AM

24 Responses

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  1. Reblogged this on Sangria Stained Lips and commented:
    Oh I miss the pretty cacti of NM sometimes.


    January 25, 2015 at 7:07 AM

    • I understand how you would miss those cacti. For me this trip was a chance to spend tinme with some of them.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 25, 2015 at 9:51 AM

  2. I found what I think may be an example of fasciation on one of my cacti last week. What’s supposed to be a long, slender leaf grew instead into two rounded lobes. Once upon a time I would have assumed something had nibbled away part of the leaf, but that’s clearly not so, since it’s “streched”, and is wider as well as shorter than the others. It makes sense that patio plants might do the same as those living in the wild, but I never expected to see it.


    January 25, 2015 at 7:58 AM

    • How obliging of the plant to take a hint and follow the theme of these posts. It’s patent that your patio has become a fasciating place.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 25, 2015 at 10:32 AM

  3. These flowers look just like sea anemones, from above. Really. I can see the oral disk (the area surrounding the mouth), the siphonoglyph (the mouth itself), and the ring of tentacles. The two flowers shown even mimic the pattern of clonal spread of (asexual) cnidarian, solitary, polyps. Even the color is right. Amazing. D

    Pairodox Farm

    January 25, 2015 at 8:20 AM

  4. I have a little cactus from these species too, but this one seem huge!!!

    Maria F.

    January 25, 2015 at 9:11 AM

  5. Fascinating to see a plant stretch like that.


    January 25, 2015 at 9:14 AM

    • It could probably earn a good living as a contortionist.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 25, 2015 at 10:41 AM

      • Then maybe I should try that…I’m feeling dejected by the stack of unwanted paintings I just brought back from the gallery. 😊


        January 25, 2015 at 10:05 PM

        • I am sorry to read that, Melissa. If it’s any consolation, I hung 30 framed prints back in July and brought 30 back home. I hung 12 in October and sold 2. Chin up. It’s a tough time for the arts but you will find more buyers. 🙂

          Steve Gingold

          January 26, 2015 at 3:44 AM

          • I think we’ve all had similar experiences of not selling anything at a show. As so many images are available for free on the Internet now, selling our work becomes more difficult.

            Steve Schwartzman

            January 26, 2015 at 6:25 AM

            • Plus all the folks who happily sell their images for a few bucks through royalty free clearinghouses or, even worse, for “exposure”.

              Steve Gingold

              January 26, 2015 at 8:55 AM

          • Sounds like we are in the same boat…say, I just read about a restaurant in London where you push a button at your table for champagne! Maybe all us creative types should sail our boat over there and get us some champagne. That would definitely help us keep our chins up 🙂


            January 26, 2015 at 8:41 AM

  6. I thought of anemones as did David. I, however, did not think siphonoglyph…..neither did my Kindle’s dictionary.

    Steve Gingold

    January 25, 2015 at 7:36 PM

  7. Fasciation is the hook that reels you in. I wonder if it is the same with pollinators…the extra width proves extra fascinating and reels in extra pollinators.


    January 26, 2015 at 4:50 AM

    • Now that’s a fascinating question about fasciation I’ve never heard anyone raise. It’s certainly plausible that a greater floral area would get more visits from pollinators. A biologist who knew where there was a fasciated and non-fasciated flower of the same species in similar settings (to try to control for other variables) could stake them out with motion-activated video cameras, then count the number of pollinators each flower received.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 26, 2015 at 6:36 AM

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