Exploring the Types of Cactus in New Mexico: From Prickly to Petite

Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia)

Prickly pear cactus is a common and widespread cactus species found throughout New Mexico. It has flat, paddle-shaped stems and produces vibrant flowers and edible fruits.

Cholla Cactus (Cylindropuntia)

Cholla cactus is another common cactus species in New Mexico. It is known for its jointed stems covered in spines and its ability to produce beautiful flowers.

Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea)

While more commonly associated with the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, saguaro cactus can also be found in some parts of southern New Mexico. It is a tall and iconic cactus species with branching arms.

Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus)

Barrel cactus is a round and globular cactus species that can be found in New Mexico. It is characterized by its ribbed appearance and can grow quite large.

Claret Cup Cactus (Echinocereus triglochidiatus)

Claret cup cactus is a smaller cactus species with red or orange flowers. It is native to the arid regions of New Mexico and can often be found growing in rocky areas.

These are just a few examples of the cactus species that can be found in New Mexico. The state’s arid and desert-like conditions provide a suitable habitat for various cacti, each with its own unique characteristics.