A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Friday, November 21, 2014

From Humble Beginnings Comes Dangerous Things

Beavertail Cactus

I've never found baby Beavertail in the wild before, until now.

A full grown mature plant.

Each one of those little spots are called areoles where hundreds of tiny hair-like spines grow.  The grouping of spines are known as glochids.  Getting these into your skin you do not want to do.

 They are very irritating although you do not immediately feel the irritation.  It usually makes itself apparent an hour or so later.  It is then I stop whatever I am doing and proceed to get the spine out with tweezers and a magnifying glass for the longer they remain the worse it will become.

I have a beavertail in my cactus garden at home.  Every time I have got spines in my hand it wasn't from touching the plant itself.  I got it from something else that had touched the plant.  Now look at the third photo again and you will see where birds have sat on the edge and pooped and where somebody has nibbled away at two of the paddles.  How do they do it?


biebkriebels said...

Nice photos of the cactus. I remember SC came home long ago with such a cactus in a pot. I never liked it, it didn't grow, or changed a bit as a plant normally does. So after many years I threw it away...

MarkD60 said...

Most of my plants are cactus. But I don't like the prickly ones.

By the way,

Do you know the difference between a cactus and a school bus?
On a cactus, all the little pricks are on the outside!!

TexWisGirl said...

i'd love to have some of those growing around here - just for the beauty of them. our prickly pear give me enough grief, though. :)

Karen said...

Loving these cactus shots. Great macro. When I worked in the desert, sitting down on the ground was always a painful experience because of the tiny cacti everywhere...ouch.

EG CameraGirl said...

They ARE interesting looking even though prockly. I have a prickly pear in a scree garden and I know what it feels like to get spines in my fingers, hands and arms!

Linda Kay said...

The innocence of the tiny cactus before it gets the spines. Are porcupines like that as well?

Randy said...

I like the little ones.

Johnny Nutcase said...

I like beavertails! Great photos even if they make me miss the desert even more than I already did!