...Notes from the Field


My Cactus Project: A Labor of Love…

by | Jun 27, 2015

If it may seem like I’ve been a little quiet lately, it’s for good reason. I took on a personal project of an enormous magnitude that while I’m still working on it now, I have enough of it put together to show and share with the world.

After a recent trip to California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, I came home with an insane number of great cactus images from a staggering number of species. Combining those with the other images from other states and regions across North America from over the past decade – I’ve compiled a very large collection of high-quality images of just cacti alone. That led to a problem: how do I share all of these and make them available for viewing for both my commercial publication and art buyers and for those just either interested in cacti or those just trying to identify species they have found in the wild? All in one lump gallery? Or do I break them up into more digestible sub-galleries that not only show how these beautiful and extremely tough plants are, but why not show a little of the science behind them as well. What I decided was to break them down into four groups – each based on taxonomical subfamily (tribe), and here they are:


*NOTE – Each of these single images within each gallery takes me about an hour to edit, research, keyword, caption, title and describe. This was a VERY time consuming project – and it’s not over yet!

Click on each collage image to open the full gallery for each.



Pachycereeae is a cactus tribe of the Cactaceae family that include our smallest clustering hedgehog cacti to the mighty branched saguaro that is the iconic symbol of the American Southwest. Members of this tribe are native to Central America, Mexico, and the southwestern United States.



Cylindropuntieae is a cactus tribe of the Cactaceae family. It is most easily recognized and known in the United States and Mexico as one of the many varieties of cholla cacti – those tree-like, thin-stemmed with vicious spines and beautiful flowers in the springtime.



Opuntioideae is a widespread tribe of the cactus family, Cactaceae, and are more commonly known collectively as prickly-pear cacti, those with flat pads or paddles, that are important both commercially and agriculturally. They are found in nearly every state of the United States, excluding most of New England and are also native to every Canadian province west of Quebec.



Roughly 75% of all species of cacti belong to the tribe Cacteae. These include the tiny, flat pincushion cacti, the many varieties of fishhook cacti, to the large barrel cacti common in many of our southwestern deserts and mountain ranges. All share a common characteristic: one or more cylindrical, ribbed stems.


Sharing and commenting via the social media links below will help me greatly, and is much appreciated.

Thank you in advance!



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