Saturday, July 18, 2015

Pincushions in bloom

Photos by Matt Ball 7/12/2015

Fishhook Pincushion (Mammillaria grahamii) cacti are blooming again in the canyon. This species is usually fewer than 6 inches tall, so look low and look under other plants. The flower petals can be various shades of pink, sometimes they look striped. The flowers are perfect; that means they have both male and female parts in each flower. The male parts are the orange things; pollen is in the tips. The female parts are taller and lime green; the egg(s) is (are) at the base of the tube formed by the green things. (As is my custom, I'm using simple terms for the flower parts. You can look up the specifics, if you are interested.) Insects help the reproductive process.

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