Rhipsalis aurea, Andreas Hofacker

Cactus Explorer Magazine

Introduction Graham Charles writes, “The Cactus Explorer No.14 is ready to download free .” What is the Cactus Explorer? The Details The Cactus Explorer Club Journal is a…

Aloe challisii

Grass Aloes

(Photograph = Aloe challisii, www.nesaflora.co.za, D.R. McKenzie) Introduction What looks like grass growing in an unkempt meadow but looks like an aloe too? It is a grass aloe….

Neoraimondia gigantea flower

Peruvian Cacti (No. 1)

(Photograph = Neoraimondia gigantea, Craig Howe) Introduction Peru has an amazing complexity of plant life, with tropical rainforests, deserts, rivers. Moreover, these plant habitats range from seal level…

Cactus wren and cholla

Cactus Wren

(Photograph = Cactus wren) Introduction The cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) is a common sight in the the Western deserts, from far West Texas to California and southern Nevada….

Cephalocereus columna-trajani,

Cephalocereus columna-trajani

 (Photograph = forest of Cephalocereus columna-trajani, Lon and Queta) Introduction Cactiguide.com reports a number of names have been applied to this magnificent cactus: Cereus columna-trajani, Pilocereus columna-trajani, Pachycereus columna-trajani,…

Nectary, Alexanderwild.com

Extrafloral Nectaries

(Photograph = ant with nectary, alexanderwild.com) Introduction Nectaries are small glands, often found inside flowers. They secrete nectar that is consumed by pollinators. The Details Cacti have nectaries…

Cylindropuntia echinocarpa-nancy

Mojave Desert in the Spring

 (Photograph = Cylindropuntia echinocarpa, Nancy Hussey) Introduction The Mojave Desert stretches from northwestern Arizona to the Salton Sea and north to Death Valley and beyond. The desert even…

Aeonium haworthii

Aeonium, Rosette Plants

(Photograph = Aeonium haworthii, Manuel M Ramos) Introduction The 3 1/2 dozen Aeonium species are found in Africa and the Canary Islands. The Canary Islands hosts most of the…

Sclerocactus parviflorus, Dorde Woodruff


(Photograph = Sclerocactus parviflorus, Dorde Woodruff) Introduction The genus Sclerocactus is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico (Cactiguide.com). The plants occur widely but sporadically often over  small…

Opuntia tribuloides

Griffiths’ Glass Cactus Negatives

(Photograph = Opuntia tribuloides) Introduction David Griffiths (1867-1935) was a botanist employed by Bureau of Plant Industry (USDA) in the early 20th Century. An expert on cacti, he described well over…


Cactus Seeds Are Orthodox

(Photograph = Barrel cactus fruit and seeds,  Desertoirisebotanicals.com) Introduction Some seeds, like avocado seeds, don’t last too long. They can dry out and die in a few months…

Desert trash

Desert Trash

(Photograph = desert trash, Renee Silverman) Introduction Litter and trash are harmful to cacti and succulents. Trash can be discarded in an instant, but the damage it does…

Opuntia, Patrick Denker

Cliffs and Canyons

(Photograph = Opuntia spinosibacca, Patrick Denker) Introduction Cliffs and bluffs along rivers can be home to many cacti and succulents. Similarly, rocky soils at the base of the…

Opuntia megasperma var megasperma

Opuntia of the Galapagos Islands

(Photograph = Opuntia megasperma var megasperma, wildlifetravel.com) Introduction The Galapagos Islands are far from the mainland of South America. At some time in the distant past, iguanas, birds, Opuntia,…

Wilcoxia poselgeri, Arturo de la Garza

Wilcoxia poselgeri

(Photograph = Wilcoxia poselgeri, Arturo de la Garza) Introduction Wilcoxia poselgeri was named variously over time. It was Echinocereus poselgeri, and it has been placed in Cereus. It was even…

Hechtia sp, Querétaro, MX

Plants of Querétaro, Mexico

(Photograph = Hechtia sp, Amante Darmanin) Introduction Santiago de Querétaro is the capital city of Querétaro state, Mexico. The state has different ecological regions: mountains, plains, dry areas,…

Aloe ferox flowers, Dogtooth

Aloes, Dead Leaves, and Fire

(Photograph = Aloe ferox flowers, Dogtooth) Introduction Aloe is a large genus spread from South Africa and Namibia to Madagascar and on to Saudi Arabia. Some of the…

Coral bean flowers, Lars Hammar

Erythrina herbacea is a Caudate Plant

(Photograph = Coral bean flowers, Lars Hammar) Introduction Bottle plants have enlarged stems or roots, or both. If roots, you can expose the enlarged root-stem junction by removing the…