Dennis the Nomad

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Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa

The Buckhorn Cholla are blooming;
I could stare at their beauty for hours.
But a sinister purpose is looming
Beneath all those pretty red flowers.

For most cacti, their thorns are a warning:
"This water is mine! Stay away!"
But the Buckhorn Cholla's adorning
Seems to say, "Look at me! Come and play!"

See, the Buckhorn's fruit is infertile:
Pollination yields no conception.
So in order to spread, Nature uses her head
And engages in subtle deception.

The blooms are a potent attractant,
But when approached by the unwary,
The barbed thorn attaches and the segment detaches,
And becomes its prey's burden to carry!

Thus the Buckhorn spread 'cross the desert.
There's a moral here that I'll disclose:
Take care when approaching beauty,
Or you might get a poke in the nose!