A Journal For Charlie

Cactus Flower

This cactus is blooming beside the drive-thru menu outside the barbecue restaurant where I order my sandwiches about once a week.  The plants have been there as long as I can remember, and the restaurant is very old.  The blossoms are lovely in the late spring.  I always enjoy looking at them.   The prickly pear cactus is native to Texas.  I am certain that the American Indians must have named their loveliest daughters “Cactus Flower”.

 Prickly Pear Cactus:  The prickly pear cactus was designated the official plant symbol of Texas in 1995.  Found in the deserts of the American southwest, the fruits of most prickly pear cacti are edible and have been a source of food to native Americans for thousands of years.  Cacti in general, and the fruits in particular,  are still staple foods for some residents of Mexico and Latin America, and the prickly pear cactus is raised commercially.  The fruit is sold under the name “Tuna”; the branches or pads are eaten as a vegetable called “nopalito” or “nopales”.


23 responses

  1. Pingback: cacti flower « Gnstr's blog

  2. A beautiful photograph, George. Your new camera seems to suit you.

    May 30, 2012 at 12:56 pm

  3. A lovely, lovely blossom. It’s tempting (and possible) with the Lumix to get right up inside those petals. That’s what I’d do. :-D

    May 29, 2012 at 11:03 am

  4. Pingback: Let’s Hear it for Succulents!! | small house/BIG GARDEN

  5. This is really a lovely flower, George.

    May 28, 2012 at 10:30 pm

  6. always nice to find blooming life in unexpected places :)

    May 28, 2012 at 8:12 pm

  7. elmediat

    Beautiful photograph. Working my way backwards from most recent post. Trying to get caught up on my blog journeying. :)

    May 28, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    • I know what you mean. I’m WAY behind too. How do people keep up? Nia, for example, is always there immediately and she posts often too. Maybe I’m getting old and slow. Glad you like my cactus flower.

      May 28, 2012 at 6:03 pm

  8. I can almost visualise a lovely little Amerindian girl called “Cactus Flower” :-)

    May 28, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    • I just imagined the cactus flower name myself. I’m sure the American Indians did name their daughters whatever the Indian name is for cactus flower. It’s always so good to see your lovely face here, Madhu. Thank you.

      May 28, 2012 at 2:13 pm

  9. Beautiful! It has been a great spring for cactus.

    May 27, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    • Apparently, it has been a good year for cactus. I usually don’t notice how pretty they are.

      May 28, 2012 at 2:14 pm

  10. Both the cacti and the fruits are very much loved in Israel, and found in many places here. We call out native born by the name of the fruit. And the flowers are sometimes yellow like the one you’ve depicted here, and sometimes a pink orange color.

    May 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    • We have the various colors of flowers too. We eat the fruit which we call “cactus apple”.

      May 27, 2012 at 4:33 pm

  11. Its such a beautiful flower,loved your write up,specially that the most loved daughter must have been named after the flower…

    May 27, 2012 at 9:13 am

  12. What a beautiful cactus flower… Fascinating. Thank you dear George, love, nia

    May 27, 2012 at 7:46 am

  13. It’s beautiful, George! and I liked the history that you told about it.

    May 27, 2012 at 6:56 am

  14. Anonymous

    What a beautiful, delicate looking flower. I’m not sure I’ve seen them before.

    May 27, 2012 at 6:25 am

  15. In Miami there are cacti that have w white flower almost like a lily. They don’t last long and then a fruit buds and grows to size of orange or so. We call them cactus apples. The pulp is very sweet but has a bazillion little hard black seeds.

    May 27, 2012 at 4:09 am

  16. What a beautiful flower :-)

    May 27, 2012 at 12:46 am

    • Thank you, Starscraper. The cactus is native to Texas and was designated the state flower symbol in 1995. The new pads that come out each spring are eaten and are called nopalitos or nopales. The fruit is edible too and is called cactus apple. The nopales are sold in grocery stores and cooked with eggs typically. They are a little like green beans. The nopaes are a staple of the diet in Mexico and Latin America still. Lots of people in Texas eat them too. Thank you very much for you visit and for your comment.

      May 27, 2012 at 1:12 am

  17. Never saw before a cactus flower.
    This is beautiful George!
    Great colors and detail; thanks for sharing it :)
    Have a great sunday!

    May 27, 2012 at 12:33 am

    • Pablo, I thought to add this to the post after you said you never saw a cactus flower:
      The prickly pear cactus was designated the official plant symbol of Texas in 1995. Found in the deserts of the American southwest, the fruits of most prickly pear cacti are edible, and have been a source of food to native Americans for thousands of years. Cacti in general (and the fruits in particular) are still staple foods for some residents of Mexico and Latin America and the prickly pear cactus is raised commercially. The fruit is sold under the name “Tuna”; the branches or pads are eaten as a vegetable, called “nopalito” or “nopales.”

      May 27, 2012 at 1:00 am

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