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Many may think of claret cup as just another spiny desert plant. When not in bloom, this evergreen is somewhat unremarkable, but in the spring, it transforms itself into a showstopper when dozens of deep scarlet red blooms cover the stems. As one may guess, the plant’s spines detract deer and rabbits, but the hummingbirds love the nectar, which sits deep inside the corolla at the flower’s base. Cactus flowers bloom from late March through late May, most peaking in mid-April.

Hiking Sun Mountain or Sierra Del Norte are the perfect ways to experience the red, pink and yellow flowers that spring in Santa Fe bring forth.