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 Cactus Trip through the US South West

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Navajoa
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PostSubject: Re: Cactus Trip through the US South West   Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:27 pm

And of course, the ever present UFO's (Unidentified F&#%ing Opuntia) Although this may be another form on the polyacantha.


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PostSubject: Re: Cactus Trip through the US South West   Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:28 pm

Some variation can be found within the Pedicactus too. Here you can see the different spination, I have heard people refer to white or glassy spined versions, so perhaps this is what is meant ?


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PostSubject: Re: Cactus Trip through the US South West   Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:29 pm

And another nice example..


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PostSubject: Re: Cactus Trip through the US South West   Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:32 pm

So onward to the township of Kanab, where we'd spend the night. But not until we made a slight detour at Fredonia to check out a plant that was one of the trip highlights for me...Utahia sileri


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PostSubject: Re: Cactus Trip through the US South West   Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:38 pm

And a youngster. Also of interest with these is what they're growing in which is gypsum mud flats. The plants were only found in this white/grey stuff and not the more common red/brown soil you can see in the back of the above photo.


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PostSubject: Re: Cactus Trip through the US South West   Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:40 pm

As you can see in this photo, it also looks like the area is prone to heavy amounts of water and then periods of complete dryness leading to the cracking of the surface..



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PostSubject: Re: Cactus Trip through the US South West   Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:48 pm

The next day found us heading north, looking for a plant I really didn't know too well. We ended up on the side of a road, where we all got out and started searching...


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PostSubject: Re: Cactus Trip through the US South West   Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:49 pm

And after being on the wrong side of the hill first off, we finally found what we were looking for - Sclerocactus spinosior (or blainei if you prefer)


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PostSubject: Re: Cactus Trip through the US South West   Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:52 pm

An impressive plant by any standard. Unfortunately the Sun wasn't doing us any favours and I think if it had of been out we would have seen open flowers. Oh well, there's always the next trip and we've already maked this one down to revisit!


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PostSubject: Re: Cactus Trip through the US South West   Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:52 pm

And they're a good size too.



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PostSubject: Re: Cactus Trip through the US South West   Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:06 pm

Our next target was a plant known as the Mountain Cactus, so here's a likely spot, complete with mountain...



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PostSubject: Re: Cactus Trip through the US South West   Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:08 pm

Problem was after walking up into the "mountains" we didn't find much...turns out we had walked past the plants and they were amongst the grass in the flats..
Pediocactus simpsonii



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PostSubject: Re: Cactus Trip through the US South West   Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:09 pm

Again, we were either too eraly or the day wasn't bright enough, so plenty of buds but no flowers...



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PostSubject: Re: Cactus Trip through the US South West   Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:08 pm

keep it coming... this is brilliant!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Cactus Trip through the US South West   Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:41 pm

These are great habitat photos... it's really good to see the environment the plants come from.

I have to say that the reddish sand and the general vegetation really reminds me of parts of NW Victoria.
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PostSubject: Re: Cactus Trip through the US South West   Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:42 pm

So onwards we go !
After a few hours the next morning checking out Capitol Reef Park, we stopped at our next location...Not a whole lot to see here....or so it seems..


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PostSubject: Re: Cactus Trip through the US South West   Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:44 pm

But amongst the gravel at the top of the ridges was a neat Sclero, Sclerocactus wrightiae!



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PostSubject: Re: Cactus Trip through the US South West   Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:45 pm

Another nice specimen..



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PostSubject: Re: Cactus Trip through the US South West   Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:48 pm

This area is a bit of a hot spot, as less than 30 minutes down the road was another locality, this time a Pediocactus. Always takes a while to get your eye "in"...once you find the first plant, you usually find you walked past a fair few!



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PostSubject: Re: Cactus Trip through the US South West   Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:49 pm

Pediocactus winkleri. This one complete with seed pods....



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PostSubject: Re: Cactus Trip through the US South West   Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:50 pm

A nice uncovered example..


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PostSubject: Re: Cactus Trip through the US South West   Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:55 pm

And finally we found one still flowering, probably late due to it's shaded position under the bush. We heard a bit later in the trip that a number of winkleri habitats had been poached not long after we'd visited this locality. We've been trying to find out if this locality was one that was stripped, but haven't been able to confirm either way yet. I hope not, I don't know what admirer of these plants would want them knowing they've been ripped out of the ground and their original locality stripped clean...



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PostSubject: Re: Cactus Trip through the US South West   Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:07 pm

Spectacular scenery heading from the Glen Canyon area down towards Mexican Hat...



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PostSubject: Re: Cactus Trip through the US South West   Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:08 pm

And the "Hat" itself !



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PostSubject: Re: Cactus Trip through the US South West   Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:13 pm

We stayed that night at a Motel right alongside the San Juan River, and just across the bridge in what was signposted as "Navajo Land" were some lovely big Sclerocactus parviflorus..



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