Cottontop Cactus - Borrego Springs Desert State Park, CA 4-3-96
Multi-headed barrel that can get quite large, with as much as 25 heads and up to 4' wide. These plants grow so slow that it can take over 20 years to get a second head. This plant flowers in mid-summer when most cacti have long since lost their blooms. The small flowers are trapped in a cage of spines, and they emit a sweet nectary fragrance. Flowers are followed by seeds encased in the "cotton" for which this cacti is named. When the spines of this cactus get soaked by rain, they turn bright pink, adding even more interest to the landscape.