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.

Ball cactus (Parodia magnifica), native to Brazil,
flowers yellow in late spring
Closeup of Parodia magnifica
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)

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


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

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'.
Beautiful spination on this one.


Red-headed Irishman
(Mammillaria spinosissima)


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

Old lady cactus (Mammillaria hahniana), hardy to 20°F, easy to grow—good starter cactus
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.

Silver Torch (Cleistocactus straussii), native to Bolivia and Argentina,
hardy to 14°F.
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.


  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.
    It's not work, it's gardening!

  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.

  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.

  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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