Friday, February 11, 2011

Some cactus beauty shots

A few people have asked me what the cacti were that I bought the other day at Lowe’s. Luckily, they were all labeled, so it was quite easy to throw together this gallery of beauty shots.

Parodia-magnifica_05
Ball cactus (Parodia magnifica), native to Brazil,
flowers yellow in late spring
Parodia-magnifica_01
Closeup of Parodia magnifica
110210_succulent_bowl2
8x8 inch cactus bowl. Everything in there was on sale at Lowe’s.
Back: Facheiro azul (Pilosocereus pachycladus) (2x)
Front: Caterpillar plant (Echinopsis sp. forma cristata)
Pilocereus-pachycladus_04

Facheiro azul (Pilosocereus pachycladus), frost-sensitive, native to Brazil,
eventually to 30 ft.

Echinopsis-sp.-forma-cristata

You’ve gotta love the common name
of this one: caterpillar plant
(Echinopsis sp. forma cristata)

110210_succulent_bowl1
Second cactus bowl
Back: old man of the mountain (Oreocereus trollii)
Front: (Mammillaria elongata 'Julio')
I’m leaving room for either another succulent
or some special rocks as yet to be found.

Mammillaria-elongata-'Julio'_04

Mammillaria elongata 'Julio'.
Beautiful spination on this one.

Mammillaria-spinosissima_08

Red-headed Irishman
(Mammillaria spinosissima)

Mammillaria-spinosissima_09

Red-headed Irishman
(Mammillaria spinosissima)
The small purple spot in the center of the photo is a flower bud forming.

Mammillaria-hahniana_07
Old lady cactus (Mammillaria hahniana), hardy to 20°F, easy to grow—good starter cactus
Mammillaria-hahniana_01
Closeup of Mammillaria hahniana.
I wonder why it’s called “old lady cactus”???

The final two aren’t from Lowe’s but from UC Berkeley Botanical Garden. I’m including them because a) they’re small, and b) they’re too funky to ignore.

Cleistocactus-straussii_06
Silver Torch (Cleistocactus straussii), native to Bolivia and Argentina,
hardy to 14°F.
Oreocereus-celsianus
Closeup of od man of the Andes (Oreocereus celsianus). A cactus with “oreo” in its name has got to be good!

All of these cacti are small, and while I keep them outside, they could just as easily be kept indoors on a window sill or another location that receives sunlight for at least 4 hours a day. I used to have cacti in my room when I was young (I was into horror novels, too, so I’m sure people thought I was weird), and I’m excited to have rediscovered cacti now.

4 comments:

  1. When I saw yesterday's post I wanted to see closeups, and here they are!

    In my research of various cactus species this winter a common theme seems to be emerging: many species are endangered because of being over-collected in the wild. Because these came from Lowe's I would think that they would be buying from larger growers who most likely do their own plant propagation, so no wild collecting of plants.

    Is there any way you can be sure though? For instance, do the plant tags list a grower name, or specify that these are not wild plants? Just wondering.
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  2. Alan, the succulents at our Lowe's come from Altman Plants. According to Altman's website, "As the largest wholesale grower of cactus in North America we offer an extensive program of over 1000 species in sizes ranging from 2½" to 10 foot tall specimens. Every plant is labeled by genus and species. The cactus program is called The Cactus Collection, and is grown in San Diego County."

    I would only worry about wild-collected plants when buying from a roadside vendor in, say, southern Arizona or from some other unknown source.

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  3. Hi Gerhard, I'm not usually into cacti especially the cristate forms but that one you have in particular is great, it does look like a giant tropical caterpillar!

    I had my brief foray with cacti and some sail through our winters here provided they have rain shelters as the winters here can be too wet.

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  4. Mark, I agree, some of the cristate cacti look downright hideous. I do like this one, even though I still wouldn't call it beautiful. But then, beauty isn't everything :-).

    I'm still amazed at my recent infatuation with cacti. I'll reassess the situation in a year's time. By then I will have gone through a full winter. Like yours, ours tend to be quite wet, which means extra protection. Since the display table where most of my cacti are adjoins our front porch, I'm simply going to stretch a tarp between the porch roof and the fence on the other side of the table. That should keep most of the rain out.

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