( Native ) Prickly Pear Cactus, ( Opuntia engelmannii ) This amazing plant has gorgeous flowers and very dangerous spines. The fruit is edible after very carefully removing the skin with tongs, the pads of the plant are also edible,the spines have to be singed off.
See plant files http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/65218/index.html
Having bloomed and the bloomstalks have died, these two "mother" century plants now are slowly dying. There are many offspring around their bases. Note how tall the bloom stalks are. I am not stooping down and pointing upward with the camera. I am standing some distance back to take the photos. (I apologize for the poor quality of the photos)
Twistleaf Yucca, Twist-leaf Yucca, Twisted-leaf Yucca, Rock Yucca, Texas Yucca (Yucca rupicola), Agavaceae Family, endemic Texas native, evergreen perennial, blooms sometime between May and July
Cross-referenced in the Texas Native Plant Pictures ( Shrubs ) thread.
Twist-leaf yucca inhabits the Edwards Plateau region growing primarily in its southeastern area. It can be found growing in rocky limestone hillsides (Rupicola means "lover of rock") as well as grassy flats. Although it prefers alkaline, sandy loam soils, it is adaptable to other soil types as long as they are well drained. It performs best with full exposure to the south. It is the only yucca species with flaccid, twisted leaves which makes it easily identified. It can hybridize with Yucca pallida producing a plant that has gray twisted leaves. In the plant's native environment, its flowers can only be pollinated by the yucca moth. If fruit (a capsule) and seed are needed, hand pollination is necessary which can be accomplished by using a small paint brush. Individual crowns are monocarpic (die after flowering); but, the crown will usually produce sideshoots before it dies
Twist-leaf yucca ia very attractive and is ideal for small spaces where the larger yuccas can not be planted. It is great in rock gardens, wildscapes and raised accent beds. I love this plant and have found many specimens in northwest Bexar County.
Red yucca, false red yucca, Texas red yucca, samandoque, coral yucca and hummingbird yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora), Agavaceae Family, Texas native, perennial shrub, evergreen, blooms April through August
Red yucca, a slow growing, clump-forming plant that grows to 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide (wider under optimum conditions) is a native of Chihuahuan desert of west Texas, extends into central and south Texas (Rio-Grande area) and northeastern Mexico (Coahuila).. It natively grows in gravelly limestone soils with fast drainage and usually inhabits rocky slopes, valley slopes, canyon areas, prairies and mesquite thickets. Red yucca is adaptable to a variety of soils.
Red yucca is not a true yucca at all, but is related to the yucca spcies. It forms a grass-like mound from a rosette of narrow, hard, long, narrow, pointed blue-green leaves. The arching blades resemble rolled grass and have curly threads along edge of blade margins. In the winter, the leaves may become a plum color. Unlike the yuccas, red yucca has no thorns. In its natural setting, deer browse the foliage.
Red yucca is widely cultivated in arid and semiarid regions serving as a median plant and/or a roadside plant as well as a landscaping element. It is a great container plant and is a good choice for pool areas and pathways. It may be used as a solitary accent plant, in mass plantings or with various cacti in rock gardens to create a desert-themed landscape. If planting it, be sure that it is not next to plants that need a lot of water.
Giant Tree Cholla, Tree Cholla, Candelabrum Cactus, Cane Cactus, Cane Cholla, Walking Stick Cholla (Cylindropuntia imbricata), Cactaceae Family, Texas native, blooms late spring through late summer
Tree cholla's native range extends from the grasslands in West Texas (Big Bend Region) and west of San Saba and it can be found in Burnet, Bexar and Victoria counties. The tree cholla has a beautiful shape and is exceptionally nice when in bloom. It usually blooms prolifically in early summer and I have seen it prolifically bloom again in late summer. It is a great addition to a wildscape, rock garden and xeriscape, but needs plenty of room to allow it to grow to its full potential. The Navajos used poultices made of the cleaned joints of chollas. They despined the joints, split them lengthwise, heated them and applied them to relieve the pain of arthritis. The roots of cholla have been chewed to treat diarrhea.
Smooth Mountain Prickly Pear, Indian Fig, Mission Cactus, Tuberous Prickly Pear,Nopal (Opuntia ficus-indica), Cactaceae Family, naturalized, edible fruit and pads
The tuberous prickly pear, native to Mexico and the southwestern regions of the United States and also found in South Africa, Spain, and Italy, is a trunk-forming segmented evergreen cactus which can grow to to 15 feet tall and to 10 feet wide. However, I have never seen any this large in my locale. They are usually up to 6 feet tall and wide. The large, oblong-shaped, pads have few spines. The old pads form woody stems. It grows very fast and needs lots of room.
Yellow or orange cup-shaped flowers are produced on the perimeter of the pads in spring or early summer. It performs best in full or reflected sun, adapts to various types of soil that has good drainage and is drought tolerant. The pads shrivel during severe drought which indicates a need for supplemental water; otherwise, there is no need to water the plant once established. It is hardy to the mid 20s (some sources list 15 degrees) with low 20s causing some damage to the pads.
Delicate Prickly Pear, Plains Prickly Pear, Starvation Prickly Pear, Twist-Spine Prickly Pear, Tuberous-R (Opuntia macrorhiza), Cactaceae Family, native, blooms in May through June, edible fruit and pads
Plains prickly pear is found on native prairie and pasture lands and on rocky hillsides. It is up to 12 inches tall and up to 18 inches wide and has tuberous roots as opposed to the fibrous roots. Each pad has 1-6 spines per areole. The spines are up to 2 inches long, un-barbed, and straight or sometimes twisted. Sometimes the spines occur on just the upper areoles and those along the pad margins. The 2-3 inches blooms are yellow or copper colored with centers that are sometimes red and they have numerous stamens with yellow or reddish filaments. The fruit are 1-3 inches long. During periods of food shortage, Native Americans ate its fruit either raw or stewed. It has no forage value, but has been used as an emergency livestock feed after the spines have been burned off. Deer, jackrabbits and turtles eat the fruits and help spread the seeds. This would be a great plant for rock gardens, wildscapes and xeriscapes. Because it does not grow as large as many other types of prickly pears, it is suitable for containers.
Red yucca, false red yucca, Texas red yucca, samandoque, coral yucca and hummingbird yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora)
See other photos above)
One of the redflower false yucca, red yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora) I received from my Mother and finally planted in the ground last summer sent up a bloomstalk on the day my Mother died. The other one sent up a bloomstalk 6 days later on the day of her funeral. Shown here in the middle of March, 12 days after the bloomstalk emerged.
Josephine, I would like to believe so. The other red yuccas in my neighborhood have not sent up bloomstalks yet. I know that she does not want me to be so distraught over her death and that she would want me to find joy working in my yard which I am having trouble doing after she died. The last thing that she wrote me 2 days before she died when she could no longer speak was that she wanted me to have all of her seed packets and some of her lillies that are in a container. I obtained my love for plants ... from my Grandmother and Mother. :o)
Tasajillo, agujilla, tasajo, Christmas cholla, desert Christmas cactus (Cylindropuntia leptocaulis), Cactaceae Family, native, perennial, blooms May through June
Tasajillo is a short (to 2 feet), sparsely branched shrub which sometimes grows much larger when supported by other shrubs. Each areole has one 2" long spine. The 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide blooms are usually pale yellow and open in late afternoon for about 3 hours and are closed by dark.. One might surmise that this fact has a relationship with a pollinator active in the late afternoon. However, the only visitors seem to be honeybees, hummingbirds and one type of the cactus bees. Even though the blooms are pale yellow, they do not appear to attract moths. When camouflaged by other plants, it usually is not noticed unless it has its distinctive bright red fruit. The fruit persists through the winter; hence, the English name, "Christmas cholla". The bright colored fruit resemble Christmas bulbs or Christmas ornaments. Pencil cholla (O. arbuscula) resembles tarjaillo; however, it is a larger, has a distinct trunk and has stems that are 1/4 inch in diameter.