Friday, May 22

Fun Fact Friday -- The Jumping Chollo Cactus

The Chollo Cactus

(also referred to as the dreaded jumping cactus)

Native to Southern Arizona, California and of course Mexico, this cactus is near and dear to our hearts. Like most cacti, the Chollo requires very little water to live. This makes it the ideal garden plant for dry arid climates. NOT!

I've seen gardens in Arizona with this rather pretty cactus, but my first thought is always, "Why?" My second thought is usually, "They must not have kids or dogs."

The jumping chollo cactus received its reputation because of the ease with which the cactus spines detach from the "mother plant". Unlike the porcupine, which throws its quills out, the chollo detaches a small section of itself which is covered with quills. When the unsuspecting victim saunters past, lightly brushing the cactus, the section detaches and the quills implant in the victim. If the victim happens to be a long-haired collie with a bushy tail, the quills tangle mercilessly in the hair and must be cut out. Any attempt by a human to remove them is met with extremely sore fingers...even if wearing leather gloves.

So, why did God create the obnoxious chollo cactus? Well, the cowboys here make a tea from the spiny sections which, reportedly, is good for the kidneys and for the urinary tract. I prefer Hibiscus, myself -- it's a lot less painful to harvest!!!

Mister Linky is having trouble this week, so if you want to participate in this week's Fun Fact Friday, simply leave a comment below and be sure to include the link to your post!

Hope you learned something new today!!!

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