Prickly Pear Cactus
Prickly pear are a very diverse species. The most common has yellow flowers but sometimes the flowers are yellow with a red center, sometimes the flowers are tangerine, and sometimes they are bright pink. What they all have in common is flatten pads with spines. Sometimes there are lots of thin spines and sometimes there are fewer thicker spines. Oh, those amazing prickly pears.
Cane or Walking Stick Cholla
Cholla cactus in different places can also have a variety of colored blooms. Bandelier's type of cholla always has pink flowers. It also has long stick like limbs covered with spines. Cholla are definitely the tallest cactus found in Bandelier.
Pincushions always have pink flowers. Their bloom time is very variable from May to August. The cactus is a small rounded ball covered with star like clusters of spines. Sometimes the cactus are found singly and sometimes in clusters.
Fendler's Hedgehog are less common than the other pink flowering cactus found on this page. Like pincushion, they are small rounded cactus but, unlike pincushion, rarely form clumps. They also have much larger spines than pincushions.
Bandelier Cactus That Don't Bloom Pink
Claret Cup Hedgehog
Claret-Cup Hedgehogs are pretty common and bloom with brillant red flowers in mid spring. They have fewer and thicker spines than their cousin, Scarlet Hedgehogs.
Scarlet Hedgehogs are slightly less common than Claret Cup and have finer spines but similar brillantly red flowers. Both flower about the same time in mid spring.
Green Flowered Hedgehog
Green flowered hedgehogs are also pretty common in Bandelier and are the smallest of the cactus. Even though they are called green flowered the flowers are often shades of yellow. These are the earliest blooming cactus in the park.
Last updated: June 21, 2020