Despite its name, this plant flowers once in its life, "only" after about 25 years, and then dies. This picture shows you the fruits on the plant, after the flowering stage.
The Century plant is a type of agave (Agave havardiana).
Go see my Travelogue on spring flowers to see a Century Plant in full bloom!
This plant can only be found in the Chihuahuan desert, of which Big Bend is a part.
Lechuguilla is a type of agave (Agave lechuguilla).
It was widly used by Indians for its fibers to make cords, baskets and sandals (see http://www.texasindians.com/leach/lech.htm for a demonstration on how to make Lechugilla cord!)
This type of cactus is very common throughout Big Bend. There are several types of prickly pear cacti, some with long needles, some with middle-sized needles, and some with no needles at all! The needles are actually the leaves, and the pads are the stems of the plant (minimizes evaporation in the dry desert). In the spring, they makes beautiful flowers. In the fall, you have conical fruits (see below).
Go see my Travelogue on spring flowers to see Prickly pear cactuses in bloom!
This weird tree has stick like branches with very very tiny leaves along it. It is not a cactus! When it has not rained for a while, it looks dead, but a little bit of water, and it is green right away! It can be seen throughout the Big Bend region.
Maybe the most common plant in Big Bend. A tough little bush that grows everywhere, it seems to the detriment of other plants! It generally plants itself at regular intervals, almost like in an orchard!
These fruits are 5 or 6 cm long (3 inch) and are eatable. Prickly Pear fruit was the main food for indians during the summer months in Central and Western Texas, as they were hunter-gatherers before Europeans came.
Do no mix it with lechugilla above. Sotol has longer thinner leaves and the flower stalk is more bushy, looking like a long brush.
A common cactus on the desert plains. This is close-up of the fruit.
Go see my Travelogue on spring flowers to see Chulla cactuses in bloom!
We saw three coyotes one evening because we were out exploring at dusk. It is so hot and arid that most animals are nocturnl in this area of the world.