Claret Cup Cactus Blossom

Echinocereus triglochidiatus is a species of hedgehog cactus known by several common names, including Kingcup cactus, Claretcup, and Mojave mound cactus. This cactus is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, where it is a resident of varied habitats from low desert to rocky slopes, scrub, and mountain woodland. It is most abundant in shady areas.

There are a number of varieties of this highly variable cactus species, but not all are universally recognized. In general it is a mounding cactus, forming bulbous piles of few to hundreds of spherical to cylindrical stems. It is densely spiny and somewhat woolly. The showy flower is a funnel shaped bloom up to 8 or 9 centimeters wide and bright scarlet red to orange-red tepals. There is a thick nectar chamber and many thready pink stamens at the center of the corolla. The flowers are pollinated by hummingbirds.

One variety, var. arizonicus, is federally listed as an endangered species in the United States. It is limited to the intersection of Arizona and New Mexico in the United States with Mexico. This variety is sometimes included within Echinocereus coccineus.

In botany, blossom is a term given to the flowers of stone fruit trees (genus Prunus) and of some other plants with a similar appearance that flower profusely for a period of time in spring.

Colloquially flowers of orange are referred to as such as well. Peach blossoms (including nectarine), most cherry blossoms, and some almond blossoms are usually pink. Plum blossoms, apple blossoms, orange blossoms, some cherry blossoms, and most almond blossoms are white.

Blossoms provide pollen to pollinators such as bees, and initiate cross-pollination necessary for the trees to reproduce by producing fruit.

Blossom trees have a tendency to lose their flower petals in wind-blown cascades, often covering the surrounding ground in petals. This attribute tends to distinguish blossom trees from other flowering trees.

Claret Cup Cactus Blossom

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