Ethel M Botanical Cactus Garden
Ethel M Botanical Cactus Gardens is a 3-acre (1.2 ha) botanical garden located at the Ethel M Chocolate Factory, 2 Cactus Garden Drive, Henderson, Nevada. The gardens, and the factory itself, are open to the public with no admission charge.
The Botanical Cactus Gardens also include a "Living Machine", their name for a demonstration waste water treatment facility. Using bacteria, algae, protozoa, snails and fish, the facility recycles 100 percent of the chocolate factory's waste water without the use of any chemicals. The water is recycled for use in providing water for the gardens. The ponds from the waste water facility attract many of the birds that inhabit the gardens.
Throughout the year the Botanical Cactus Gardens are host to several community events including the annual cactus garden lighting. The cactus garden holiday lights show is hosted in November and December and is free to the general public.
The Gardens contain more than 350 different cactus and succulent species, forming one of the largest such collections in the United States. Over half are native to the American southwest; the remainder are from Australia and South America. The collection includes varieties such as:
- The giant saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea)
- Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens)
- Prickly pears and chollas (Opuntia):
- Bishop's Cap Cactus (Astrophytum myriostigma)
- Clumping hedgehogs (Echinocereus)
- Compass barrel cactus
- Fish hook barrels (Echinocactus wislizenii)
- Red barrel cactus (Ferocactus pilosus)
- Mesquite (Prosopsis chilensis)
- Twisted acacia
- Desert willow (Chilopsis linearis)