What’s Blooming Now

A walk in the garden with a camera.

As summer approaches and the little moisture we got during this winter’s rainshowers completely dries up, the native desert plants go about their late spring business. A walk around my yard with my camera yielded these photographs of what’s blooming now.

First up, some prickly pear cactus flowers. This is an Engelmann’s Prickly Pear in our backyard, which displays yellow flowers each spring. These are the same cacti we harvest for young prickly pear pads this time of year. They’re great on the grill.

We also have a purple prickly pear cacti in the side yard. Its flowers are similar, but generally brighter in color — almost neon, in fact.

I’m not sure of the identity of this one. It’s a wildflower that’s growing alongside our driveway and in various other parts of the unlandscaped portion of our property. I believe that it’s a paperflower, but I could be wrong. (If anyone knows for sure, use the Comments link or form for this article to let us know.)

This desert willow took root in our side yard some years ago and grew like a weed. As you can see, it gets very dramatic pink flowers — the entire tree is covered with them right now. It flowers twice a year and makes long seed pods filled with hundreds of seeds. The tree loses all of its leaves in the coldest winter months and is pretty messy, so a lot of people avoid them. Me, I wish my yard was full of them.

Palo verde is also blooming throughout Wickenburg right now. (It bloomed at lower elevations 2 to 4 weeks ago.)

For another look at the palo verde in bloom, check out this photo I took of the high school last week. All the yellow you see in the trees are palo verde flowers. Nice, huh?

What do you think?