Sunday, May 17, 2009

Opuntia Blooming Near India St.

Photo: Diane Edwardson, May 13, 2009. Bees have been busy with the large Opuntia cactus near India St. on the Red Car Property. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Opuntia is a good fire resistant plant. It stores water in its large pads, so it does not burn easily. The blobs of white stuff are cochineal or scale insects. When crushed, they emit a redish-purple liquid. Indians used to make a dye from them.