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Photos from Arizona 2023

This crazy little guy is called an “Arizona Barrel” cactus.

How cool is that?

Unlike the saguaro cactus (which I wrote about yesterday), this cactus will only live up to 50 years. Even though it can grow up to 10 feet under perfect conditions, they typically only grow up to anywhere from 4 to 6 feet tall. Still most of the Arizona cactus that we saw were just over 1 foot tall.

Some people call this cactus the “fish hook barrel cactus” because of the nasty, red hooked spikes that stick out all around it. This is definitely a “look, but don’t touch” situation!

One other random fact about the Arizona barrel cactus that I thought was interesting is that they will typically lean in the Southwest direction, so far bent that they will sometimes even topple over if the root is not properly supported. This happens because they tend to grow quickest on the side that is most shaded. For this reason, they are also known as the “Compass Cactus”.

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