I have no idea what this stuff is but it's pretty. I'll bet one or more of my commenters can identify it.
These leaves look very defensive.
Speaking of defensive. One of the first things one learns on moving to Arizona: keep a distance from the cacti.
These are called prickly pear in the Estados Unidos. Down south of the border the pads are harvested, de-thorned, cooked and eaten. They're known as Nopales there and, when pickled, are quite tasty.