Archive for the ‘Sonoran Desert Plants’ Category

Tucson Wildflower Hike

March 29th, 2012 by tucsonbb

Small flowersThe most beautiful hikes I’ve recently taken was in Saguaro National Park East just off of the Javelina Picnic Area.  The hike moved quickly up a landscape full of wildflowers, then curved down a short ravine and again up through gorgeous rock formations I hadn’t seen before.  Unfortunately I wasn’t paying attention to the name of it, but it probably was the Tanque Verde Ridge Trail of which I only walked about 1 mile because of my conditioning.  Because of the early warm weather, all of the wildflowers are a riot of color.

yellow wildflowers

Early Wildflower Bloom

March 3rd, 2012 by tucsonbb

Dewdrops on HarebellsArizona wildflowers are now in bloom in Southern Arizona.  Some that have been identified and photographed are Blue Dicks, Desert Anemone, Yellow Desert Evening Primrose, Chuparosa, Evening primrose, California suncups, Creosote, Chia, Blue fiesta flower,Lupines, Mexican poppies, Fiddleneck, Brittlebush, Fairy Duster, Desert Chicory, Coulter’s Lupine.  You can find photos of those in bloom with descriptions and where they were seen at a popular website.  Those staying at our Bed & Breakfast, located on 17 acres in the desert can enjoy some of those blooms as they walk our nature trail.  We’re also right next to Saguaro National Park East for those looking for wildflowers while they hike.

Meadows of desert globemallow - Sonoran Desert wildflowers.Small flowers

Night Blooming Cactus in Tucson

July 26th, 2010 by tucsonbb

If you want to see a gorgeous cactus flower then you must visit our Tucson, Arizona Bed and Breakfast during the monsoon season since it’s the only time that the exquisite night-blooming cactus blooms.
Cereus PeruvianusCereus Peruvianus

The night-blooming cactus, also known as Cereus Peruvianus, only blooms at night and only in the Tucson monsoon season.  The night-blooming cereus is a tall husky cactus that grows upright with six vertical ribs and sparse quarter-inch spines. They produce the most gorgeous trumpet shaped blooms which have many soft delicate petals that come in several shades of creams and light pink colors.
Inside each of the wonderful elegant blossoms are many long yellow threads of golden stamens topped with anthers.
The scent of the flowers is similar to that of a very light perfume and ripe melon.  These beautiful blooms are sometimes as large as a dinner plate!

Young night bloomer

Under the warm starlit skies of a Tucson, Arizona B&B night, a magical mystical show is about to take place at our Tucson,Arizona Bed and Breakfast with the exquisitely beautiful night blooming cactus setting the stage.

Cereus Peruvianus at sunriseCereus Peruvianus at sunrise

In the early morning when the sun rises over our Tucson Bed and Breakfast Inn, the birds and the bees and other insects enjoy partaking from the now closing cactus flowers.  Each cactus flower will close up, dry up and fall off the plants.

Where the flower once was, a soft ripe reddish pink round fruit will develop with many small black seeds inside.
The fruit is called a Peruvian apple or also known as tuna by the Mexican people.  Inside the fruit it looks very much like a soft over ripened kiwi fruit but it tastes rather plain.  The gila woodpeckers and many other Tucson birds and desert wildlife of the Arizona Sonora Desert love to eat these cactus fruits.

So, The chain of life goes on at the Tucson, Arizona Bed and Breakfast Inn
located in the Tucson desert nestled near the Saguaro National Park East.What a beautiful sight!

Southern Arizona Wildflowers

April 27th, 2010 by tucsonbb

Did you know you can get daily reports on where wildflowers are showing in the Tucson and Southern Arizona region?  Just go to www.desertusa.com/wildflo/tucson.html.  That website has many beautiful pictures of wildflowers currently in bloom.  One of the many draws for visitors to the Tucson area and Hacienda del Desierto Bed & Breakfast are the many varieties of spring blooms.

Perennial Penstemon
Creative Commons License photo credit: SearchNetMedia

Rare Saguaro on Tucson Lodging Property

October 13th, 2009 by tucsonbb

A recent article in our Tucson, Arizona paper highlighted a rare form of Saguaro cactus which grows bizarre and sometimes beautiful fan-shaped crests.  The growing tip produces a fan like form which is referred to as

Crested Saguaro at Hacienda Del Desierto

Crested Saguaro at Hacienda Del Desierto

crested or cristate.  Scientists haven’t yet found a definitive cause for this unusual growth.  It could be genetic mutation, a lightning strike, or freeze damage.  Only one in 200,000 mutates like this, so we are privileged to have one on our property, Hacienda del Desierto Bed & Breakfast.  The picture is of the one on our Tucson Bed & Breakfast property.

The main trunk of a mature Saguaro may be 40’ high and 2’ thick.  A woody inner skeleton provides the strength to support ten arms or more.  They start to grow when the cactus is around 60 years old.  They can live about 200 years.  The medium green skin covers 12-24 ribs which expand and contract depending on the among of stored moisture within the plant.  In May and June, in a tree at least 35 years old, the tips of the arms and the main stem are crowned with funnel-shaped, 3” wide flowers with waxy white petals.  Each flower blooms only once, opening at night and staying open into the next day.  The smooth-skinned green fruits, the size and shape of a chicken egg, split open at maturity.  The pulp, which contains tiny black seeds, is edible and very tasty.  Baby Sahuaro like to grow in the shelter of trees like the Palo Verde or Mesquite.  Frequently, one or two end up growing right up through the tree.  A mature Sahauro can weigh 6 tons and be 50’ tall.

The sahuaro provides a home to a variety of birds: gilded flicker, Gila woodpecker, owls, purple martins, finches, sparrows, ravens, and hawks.

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