Naturally, once all the desert plants begin producing bright flowers, the first to be aware of them are the various types of pollinators. This is a small sample of the many beautiful butterflies housed in the spacious Butterfly Pavilion within the Desert Botanical Garden.
Agraulis vanillae, Gulf Fritillary
Anartia jatrophae, White Peacock
Battus philenor, Pipevine Swallowtail
Buckeye, Vanessa cardui_
Male Papillio troilus, Spicebush Swallowtail
Zebra Longwing, Heliconius charitonius
A Zebra Longwing, Heliconius charitonius
A bee wallows in the pollen filling this yellow prickly pear bloom.
At this time of year the Sonoran desert is filled with flowering cacti. These samples of prickly pear flowers are all from the Desert Botanical Garden, but you can encounter them throughout the Arizona desert. These hardy plants adapt to suit their location and are found throughout the state, from lowland deserts to high elevations.
A bee is making an interesting approach to the flowers on this pricklypear.
This prickly pear has lovely yellow blossoms and very long spines.
Englemann’s Prickly Pear (Opuntia engelmannii) has pink buds but yellow flowers.
This Beavertail Prickly Pear has bright pink flowers.
A delicate orange flower on a large opuntia, or Prickly Pear cactus.
A Bunny Ears Prickly Pear Cactus. Opuntia microdasys
Brilliant orange flowers cover this large prickly pear.