Blooming cactus – all things succulent

Cactus in bloom - stingray villa, Cozumel

While tequila, beaches, and tacos are a given, there is so much more to witness in this eccentric region. The sprawling and bio-diverse country, Mexico, is home to some of the rarest plants and flowers. The succulent, cactus plants are most famous. Mexico has over 150 varieties of cactus or ‘nopal’ as it’s called. From the urban settlements to the parched desserts up the north, you can witness several types of this prickly plant all over the country.

Cacti are unlike any other plant. They can survive in higher climates by storing juices or water where no other plant can thrive. Cacti crowd the Chihuahuan and Sonoran deserts thanks to their high climates. The specific topographical features of this region result in different shapes, height, and ability to produce flowers and fruits in cacti. The most iconic and amazing types of cacti are incontestably the “Prickly Pear cactus”. These cacti can bear edible fruits known as Tunas or prickly pears. You can strike gold walking down a desert if you witness a rare, lush huge white flower with purple and pink hues on the organ pipe cactus. This plant is nothing short of exquisite and is only spotted across a deserted area in northern Mexico. This exotic plant can only bloom for up to 2 months and opens itself for less than half a day throughout the night till mid-morning.

Nature enthusiasts can witness the sheer beauty of this rare plant by visiting the northern areas in Mexico from Late April to June; the blooming season. The saguaro thrives in the Sonoran desert from May to late June. It produces edible white flowers and fruits from early to midsummer. It can grow up to 12 meters high over a time of 200 years!

These glorious cacti are all over Mexico, adding a raw beauty to the region.

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