Cacti of the Big Bend Ranch State Park

Seeing a particular cactus in bloom can be difficult. Some cacti have very short blooming periods. Others are endemic to restricted areas. Some may bloom sporadically, for only a few days, or only at night.

Knowing roughly when they bloom can help. So here is a table listing species known to live here in the Big Bend Ranch State Park, and the months during which they typically bloom.

Family Species Variety Popular Name Start End
Opuntia schotii grahamii Graham’s Dog Cholla 5 6
Opuntia imbricata arborescens Tree Cholla 5 6
Opuntia leptocaulis Christmas Cholla 5 9
Opuntia kleiniae Candle Cholla 4 8
Opuntia rufida Blind-eye Prickly Pear 4 5
Opuntia macrocentra Long-Spined Purple Prickly Pear 4 5
Opuntia azurea Diploid Purple Prickly Pear 4 6
Opuntia azurea parva Big Bend Purplish Prickly Pear 3 5
Opuntia comanchica Comanche Prickly Pear 4 6
Opuntia dulcis Sweet Prickly Pear 4 5
Opuntia engelmannii engelmannii Engleman’s Prickly Pear 4 7
Peniocereus greggii greggii Night-Blooming Cereus 4 6
Echinocereus coccineus paucispinus Texas Claret-Cup 3 4
Echinocereus X roetteri neomexicanus Lloyd’s Hedgehog 4 6
Echinocereus dasyacanthus Texas Rainbow 3 5
Echinocereus enneacanthus enneacanthus Strawberry Cactus 4 5
Echinocereus straminens Strawberry Pitaya* 3 5
Echinocereus viridiflorus Green-Flowered Hedgehog Cactus 3 5
Echinocereus viridiflorus chloranthus Western Green-Flowered Hedgehog 3 5
Echinocereus viridiflorus russanthus Rusty Hedgehog 2 4
Echinocereus viridiflorus canus Graybeard Cactus 3 4
Echinocactus horizonthalonius Eagle-Claw 4 6
Echinocactus texensis Horse-Crippler 4 5
Ferocactus hamatacanthus hamatacanthus Giant Fishhook Cactus 6 8
Thelocactus bicolor bicolor Glory of Texas 3 9
Ariocarpus fissuratus fissuratus Living Rock 7 9
Neolloydia conoidea conoidea Cone Cactus 3 7
Glandulicactus uncinatus wrightii Eagle-Claw 3 5
Ancistrocactus brevihamatus pallidus Snipe Cactus 2 3
Echinomastus waarnockii Warnock’s Cactus 2 3
Echinomastus mariposensis Mariposa Cactus 2 3
Epithelantha micromeris micromeris Common Button Cactus 2 4
Epithelantha bokei Boke’s Button Cactus 5 6
Mammillaria grahamii grahamii Graham’s Fishhook Cactus 5 6
Mammillaria lasiacantha Golf Ball Cactus 2 3
Mammillaria pottsii Pott’s Mammilaria 2 3
Mammillaria meiacantha Nipple Cactus 3 5
Mammillaria heyderi Heyder’s Pincushion Cactus 3 4
Coryphantha dasyacantha Desert Pincushion Cactus 3 5
Coryphantha sneedii albicolumnaria Silverlace Cactus 3 5
Coryphantha tuberculosa tuburculosa Cob Cactus 4 8
Coryphantha tuberculosa varicolor Varicolor Cob Cactus 5 8
Coryphantha macromeris macromeris Big-Needle Pincushion Cactus 5 9
Coryphantha echinus robusta Multi-Stemmed Sea-Urchin 4 5

It’s early yet, but Claret Cups are already blooming along the Rio Grande. Happy cactus hunting.


About aneyefortexas

Retired writer/teacher/photographer, now photographing the Chihuahuan Desert at the Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas.
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10 Responses to Cacti of the Big Bend Ranch State Park

  1. jhauser says:

    Shouldn’t it be Genus rather than Family?

    Family Species Variety

  2. Madonna Kimball says:

    Watched an episode of SOS: How to Survive (Weather Channel) and they showed a number of saguaro cactus on Big Bend State Ranch. I have never seen one the few times I’ve been there, have you?

  3. Ted Hodoba says:

    I thought Ferocactus wislizenii was only found in the Franklin Mountains in Texas. I am surprised to see on this list.

  4. Desert Dweller says:

    Very helpful – almost consistently, Abq’s bloom on many of those (we can grow more than not) is towards the end. Interesting how some of those, though, are very specific on bloom time, and our times are not far off of yours (like Cylindropuntia imbricata).

    In Google Chrome or Internet Explorer, the right side of your chart overlaps the right column, even changing the magnification on my PC. But maybe just at my end?

    • Nope. It’s not you. I’ve tried modifying the code, but nothing I do seems to have any effect. Maybe WordPress has its own ideas about how tables should be formatted. It’s certainly not listening to me 😦

  5. Chris Miller says:

    Voni just shared this post out on Facebook and we found your chart very helpful! I hope you don’t mind that we saved down a copy for our reference later. Can’t wait to follow all of the various cacti around our homestead! My personal favorites are the fissuratus. Our girls haven’t got to see them bloom in person yet but they will this year. Thanks a lot for sharing!

  6. jesusan says:

    What a wonderful, useful post! Thank you.

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