Sunday, June 25, 2017

Cactus flowers brighten summer doldrums

I complained about the heat in my last post. It bothers us humans, but the cacti in our garden seemed to be unfazed by it. In fact, the abundant sunshines makes them happy, and when they're happy, they reward us with flowers. Which, in turn, makes us happy. So everybody is happy right now.

Cleistocactus strausii

Cleistocactus has the strangest flowers. They're not very showy, but they remain open far longer than the impressive flowers of, say, Echinopsis. Hummingbirds love them.

Cleistocactus strausii

Speaking of Echinopsis, what you see below is the third wave of flowers on this 'Johnson's Hybrid': 

Echinopsis 'Johnson's Hybrid'

Echinopsis 'Johnson's Hybrid'

Another Echinopsis, a cultivar called 'Forty-Niner', has flowered for the first time:

Echinopsis 'Forty-Niner'

The cactus itself is still tiny, only 2½" tall. The flower is much bigger than the stem. Unfortunately, it lasted for just one day.

Echinopsis 'Forty-Niner'

The next one, Ferocactus chrysacanthus, used to be a in pot in the partial shade and never flowered. Now it's in the ground on one of the succulent mounds in the front yard and it's flowering for the first time. The flowers are small and fairly insignificant, but it's still good to see it doing so well. The golden spines are beautiful.

Ferocactus chrysacanthus

Ferocactus chrysacanthus
 
Ferocactus acanthodes below is a souvenir from my March trip to Palm Springs. I bought it at Mariscal Cactus & Succulents in Desert Hot Springs. I was very happy to see so many buds developing:

Ferocactus acanthodes (aka cylindraceus) on June 9, 2017

Ferocactus acanthodes on June 21, 2017

Ferocactus acanthodes

Ferocactus acanthodes

Ferocactus acanthodes

Ferocactus acanthodes

Ferocactus acanthodes

The final cactus I want to show you is Ferocactus emoryi. It's still in a fairly small pot on the edge of the front porch but it's been flowering for a few weeks now. When the sunlight hits it at just the right angle, the petals have a metallic sheen. I look at it several times a day.

Ferocactus emoryi

Ferocactus emoryi

Ferocactus emoryi

Ferocactus emoryi

Ferocactus emoryi

Ferocactus emoryi

Ferocactus emoryi

Ferocactus emoryi

Summer is not my favorite time of year, but it does have its benefits.



15 comments:

  1. Yes it does have benefits, those cactus flowers are gorgeous. Echinopsis, my favorite. The Cleistocactus at the Huntington seem to be in flower 12 months a year. I don't think I've ever been there when they were not putting on a show.

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    1. I need to look for other Cleistocactus species. I really like strausii but I want to add a few more.

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  2. Beautiful show of flowers! Love all of them. I've been collecting a few Feros, and need to look for F. emoryi, it's got a great look in flower.

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    1. Ferocactus emoryi seems to be quite common (it's sometimes labeled as F. covillei). I've seen it sold at IKEA (unlabeled, of course). The metallic/pearlescent sheen on the petals is truly beautiful.

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  3. They look lovely, so showy! A little relief from the heatwave there :)

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    1. That heatwave is finally over. YEAH. If we had conditions like today (not even 90°F/32°C) for the entire summer, I'd be happy.

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  4. Now just sit back and wait for some cute little cactus seedlings to pop up!

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    1. Funny enough, I've NEVER (as in: not once) found a cactus seedling. Weeds, oh yeah, but not cactus.

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  5. So satisfying when you find beautiful plants that love the conditions you're stuck with, I do love those golden spines on Ferocactus chrysacanthus.

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    1. YES! A vivid reminder that I should focus on what I can grow, instead of wanting plants that will never thrive here.

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  6. Beautiful cacti! it's winter here in Argentina but in my region temperature is warm even in winter (summers are scorching hot and humid!)The flowers on your cacti are splendid especially the Echinopsis Johnson's Hybrid I wish nurseries here sold those varities! thanks for sharing these pictures!

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    1. I'm seeing a wider selection of Echninopsis hybrids/cultivars in nurseries. I hope the trend will keep up.

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  7. I'm impressed to see that these cactus bloom when they're still relatively small. I hope your heat has abated since your last report. Being out of town attending the Fling, I appear to have missed the worst of it down this way. Thankfully, the marine layer was back in place this morning and we're reportedly going to get a "No-sky July" to start off the holiday weekend.

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    1. Some flower quite small (like that little Echinopsis 'Forty-Niner'). Others have to be much bigger, like Ferocactus.

      I wish we had some of your June Gloom/No-Sky July. It's always sunny here!

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  8. These stunning blooms are certainly one of the benefits of summer in your climate. Here, summer is just about everyone's favorite season.

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