When the cactuses bloom in Big Bend National Park, their vivid pinks and purples, reds and yellows bring an unforgettable beauty to the rugged Chihuahuan Desert landscape. In fact, many people visit the park just see the cactus blossoms and the wildflowers. If you're one of them, this book will increase your enjoyment by helping you identify the wonders at your feet. And if you've never been to Big Bend when the cactuses are blooming, you'll discover here what you've been missing. Douglas B. Evans describes twelve kinds of cactus—living rock, topflower, stout-spined, hedgehog, pineapple, button, barrel, fishhook, nipple, chollas and pricklypears, and Texas nipple—and their individual species known to occur in the park. Color photographs taken by Doris Evans and Ro Wauer accompany the species descriptions. As you hike or drive through the park, you can identify most of the cactuses you see simply by leafing through these splendid pictures and then checking the descriptions, which indicate the cactuses' characteristic features and habitat. To make the book even more useful, Evans also briefly defines the parts of a cactus, explains how scientific names work, and offers a quick introduction to the geography and ecology of Big Bend National Park and the Chihuahuan Desert. With this information, you'll enjoy not only seeing the cactuses of the Big Bend but also being able to tell one from another and knowing just what makes each one special.