Teddy Bear Cholla
Plants around the Hoover Dam
The name of this cactus truly describes its appearance. The barrel cactus looks like a barrel that is 1 to 3 feet tall and 16 inches in diameter. Although it looks like a barrel it does not hold water like a barrel. The cactus has a pulp like tissue inside. Blooms can be seen during April and May. This hardy plant can live two years without water. (Photo taken at the United States Botanical Gardens.)
The Creosote Bush grows in the lower Sonoran Zone - Inner George 3,500 to 4,000 feet elevation. The small round leaves are coated with an oily, sticky substance called "lac." The lac holds the water in the plant to prevent dehydration. Indians used the lac as glue. The bush can be identified by its strong scent, too.
The most common cactus is the Prickly Pear. This plant can be identified by the flat stems called "pads" connected to one another at a "joint." The pad's spines are 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) in length. The red, pink and yellow flowers can be seen April through June. The fruit called "Tunas" are spineless and are sold in some grocery stores' fruit section.