A wonderfully textured Opuntia violacea or Santa Rita Prickly Pear Cactus. This is abundant around the Santa Rita mountains near Tucson. The purple coloring of the pads comes from betacyanins and intensifies when the plant is under stress. I loved the textures and rich color of the dry scabby part of the pad against the dark pinks and peach on this individual. It is so easy and delicious to get lost in the details of nature.
The Romans were done in a Reggie Ezell class about 15 years ago. I need to work on updating them but for a quick blog they are still working for me.