First cactus flower of the year
I don’t have time for a long post today, but I really wanted to show you this photo. It’s our first cactus flower of the year. This cactus is in one of the planter boxes I just installed on top of the fence that surrounds our front yard—see this post for details.
What is remarkable that I just bought this plant last week at the Ruth Bancroft Garden and here it is, blooming already (it did have three developing buds last week).
The cactus is a Parodia werneri subsp. werneri. It used to be called Notocactus uebelmannius, but underwent a name change when the International Organization for Succulent Plant Study (IOS) merged the genus Notocactus into the genus Parodia in 1989. This kind of taxonomical musical chairs happens fairly regularly as new research results are published. I must admit that while I have some interest in (or tolerance for) taxonomy, my eyes start to glaze over when I delve too deeply into it.
All I really need to know is that Parodia werneri subsp. werneri:
- Doesn’t seem to have a common name in English that would make referring to it quite a bit easier
- Hails from southern Brazil
- Has a solitary growth habit
- Will get to about 6 inches in diameter
- Likes to be watered regularly in the summer but must be kept dry in the winter because it rots easily
- Is hardy to 25°F
- Has electric purple flowers that appear in mid-spring
And it’s beautiful in the eyes of this beholder, which for most people is all that matters.
After all, most gardeners wouldn’t go to the trouble of caring for a plant as ugly as this one.