Red Fishhook Cactus Flower Life Cycle

which has the bee?

These flowers fascinate me . . . and the bees, too. Can you see the bee in here? He burrows in, covers himself with the pollen, comes up for air and then immediately dives in again on the next flower. He is really quick; a lot quicker than I am.

What I am trying to show here are the different stages of these beautiful red flowers. In the center of the cactus plant, it looks like cement. You can see the stickery things that look like worms coming out of that cement-like part. There are also tiny little buds of red that are much like the closed-up flowers. When these buds open up, they are open for only a couple of days, giving just enough time for the bees to do their thing, I guess. Next, they close up and fade to black. This is apparently how the cactus grows taller, but it is a slow process.

There has been a pair of leaf hopper-type bugs in there every day when I go out to shoot, but I don’t know what their purpose may be, except to somehow help pollinate these flowers. You can see one of these insects just below the open flower at the center top. Some days there are two of them, and they seem to be doing their best to create more of their kind, if you get my drift. They seem to be hanging around in the same general area every time I go out there, so not sure how they divvy up the territory with the bees.

You can click, let load, and click again to see a REALLY magnified close-up of the center of this flower. It is really quite interesting. Be careful not to prick yourself on those sabers growing up in the middle of the cactus plant!


About judilyn

RV'er, foody, caregiver, knowledge seeker
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12 Responses to Red Fishhook Cactus Flower Life Cycle

  1. Sherry says:

    Really interesting. Nature is amazing. That is a great picture.


  2. LFFL says:

    I finally found the bee! It’s hard to see that critter. Stay away, Judilyn, lest you get stung!


  3. Liz says:

    It’s one of the prettiest flowers I’ve even seen and thorny too…pretty, colourful and thorny. I bet it has lots of nectar too. I can see some yellow in the background. Is that part of this cactus? does the yellow turn red or what?


    • judilyn says:

      The yellow is part of the cycle of growth. It is sort of the base of the flower later in the cycle. This is a fascinating plant because it grows so very slowly. I’m wondering what the spikes become later, or are the just for protection of the cement-looking part in the center.


  4. Sharon says:

    Judie, the expanded view of the flowers is endlessly fascinating. I am especially intrigued by the curved, ridged, striped thorns. They look like they should be the horns of an animal to me. 🙂


  5. Such a pretty plant. 🙂


  6. Clanmother says:

    I’ve been away for a few days on a work project – great to be back. Those bees are quick!!!


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