Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Prickly Pear Cactus Flowers

I went for a walk yesterday morning and the prickly pear cactus flowers were closed because it wasn't warm enough outside.

Closed prickly pear cactus flowers.

I went out later in the early afternoon and most of the flowers were all open and the bees were buzzing from flower-to-flower. The flowers range in color from yellow to a pale apricot color.

I just love this shade of yellow and how delicate the flowers look amongst the thorns of the cactus.

This is a cholla cactus and the buds are forming.

Closer look at the cholla cactus buds. These beauties will bloom into the prettiest shade of fuchsia.
I gathered prickly pear cactus apples last year and made a dye for dying some wool yarn. I also made a second dying which came out pinker. I knit this vest in the lighter yarn that was dyed from the cactus juice.
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  1. Hi Daryl, Beautiful, I will have to show my son. He is studying these at school and he will enjoy the pictures:) Have a fantastic Day!!

  2. Those are beautiful flowers! I never appreciated the beauty of cactus plants until I visited west Texas and went to a museum in Alpine Texas at Sul Ross University. There is a cactus garden in front with hundreds of different kinds. It was really an education to me. Your vest is beautiful, too!

  3. Beautiful cactus flowers. I also love the knit vest.

  4. Great photos. I noticed some kind of flowering cactus Sunday on my way home in front of a restaurant. I need to stop and take some pictures. It's bright yellow and redish flowers. It's really pretty.
    Thanks for sharing yours.

  5. Hi Daryl, I love the purple color you got with your prickly pear dye. My friend gave me a bag of tunas leftover from her jam making. I was wondering how much fruit you used in your dyebath to get that color. I have been fermenting wool in my dyebath for over a week and it is a pretty color, but it is not purple - it is a dark rose/pink. I only had about 16 pears to work with. Tonight I prepared Tara powder and made a tannin rinse for my wool. So far there has been no change in color..I read somewhere that a tannin post mordant helped the prickly pear to be more lighfast/colorfast and should bring out more red, but I don't know what website said that. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
    Julia in Sacramento, CA


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