Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa)
Common in southeastern Arizona, Baja California and Sonora in Mexico, parts of Southern California, as well as select locations in Utah and Nevada, the buckhorn cholla gets its name from its similarity in appearance to deer antlers. Flowers are quite variable in color - ranging from lemon yellow, fiery orange to a deep scarlet, and are followed later in the season by smooth, plump, mostly spineless, green, purplish, or reddish edible fruits. Like many other cactus species in the Southwest, the mature fruits of the buckhorn cholla drop off long before it blooms during the next season, therefore you will never see one with both fruits and flowers at the same time. This one with bright red flowers was found and photographed in Southern Arizona's Diablo Mountains near the Mexican border.
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