The California desert can come alive with cactus flowers late in the summer when the rain is just right.
The nipple cactus blooms in response to summer rains in the deserts of California. James Cornett/Special to The Desert Sun
Recently, I was hiking over a remote desert mountain range in eastern Riverside County. I was looking for one of California’s rarest species of cactus, Graham’s nipple cactus, Mammillaria grahamii. To find it one doesn’t actually look for the cactus but rather its flower. This is the state’s only cactus species that predictably blooms in response to summer rains and it has rained a lot this summer in the deserts of California.
Read on for the tale of California’s three Mammillaria species.