Melocactus and other Tucson Miscellany

Cool things seen around Tucson.  Melocactus were cool.  No, they didn't cut off the top of a plant and glue a macaroon and some straw flowers onto it.  Not a native cactus, Melocatus hail from the Caribbean through Mexico southwards to the Andes.  
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When I first saw these, I was unsure if they were natural or not, having seen many Cacti with strawflowers glued onto their tops.   No, Melocactus really grow like this. 
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That thingy on the top is a cephalium, from which flowers will sprout.
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Another cool thing we saw was the nest of a Cactus Wren in the prickly arms of a Cholla cactusThe purple ribbon was a nice touch.
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A fabulously crested Saguaro, looking like a rooster's comb:
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Of course the Saguaros themselves, endlessly fascinating.  When I was a little kid, I thought all deserts were wonderful because they had Saguaros.  Nope.  Just around Tucson and a few places south and westwards.  
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Unusual and beautiful stones.  Lots of that in Arizona.
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And one non-native little plant I was unfamiliar with.  It was sitting in a pot by the fountain at our hotel.  Sanguisorba?
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So pretty back lit!
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One last image of beautiful, beautiful Tucson, the mountains turned smoky blue on a high-cloud afternoon.
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Comments

  1. I love to visit the desert and you have strengthened my resolve for a spring trip !I believe your mystery plant is Celosia spicata of some kind.

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  2. great shots the first reminds me of an ice cream cone.haha Oh how I miss tucson...and my lost pictures...

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  3. Hi Hoover, I think the mystery plant is a Gomphrena, the one called Fireworks. Google it and see if you agree. I haven't grown it but would like to. I love your cactus photos. Here in the Pacific Northwest we have Opuntia but none of these awesome Sagauros. I love that turquoise colored rock too. Very cool photos!

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  4. I'm thinking the gomphrena is "strawberry fields".

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  5. Ooh, those saguaros reminded me of my visit to Tucson many years ago. A holiday to remember.

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