I found this cactus while hiking around looking for saguaro cactus in the Sonoran Desert near Phoenix. It is a young Teddy Bear Cholla cactus growing among the rocks. It is about 6 inches tall and with the low point of view, looks much larger. The camera is on the ground, looking up slightly. The green plant behind the Cholla is an ocotillo. This is one of my favorites, because of the look of this young plant growing from the rocks and the unusual point of view.
The official name is Cylindropuntia bigelovii. It is native to California, Nevada, Arizona & Northwestern Mexico. They grow up to five feet in height with many branches covered in spines. From a distant the Cholla looks to be fuzzy, therefore the name Teddy Bear Cholla. Like its cousin Jumping Cholla, the branches fall off easy and attach to clothing or animal fur and easily starts new plants elsewhere. So over time small “forests” of Chollas will fill the desert floor.
This and many more cactus art photos can be purchased here.