Weird and wonderful cacti

Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit the personal greenhouse of a cactus collector. The experience was bit like waking up on a strange planet full of wild and wacky desert vegetation. I know a little bit about cacti and grow a fair number myself, but they're all relatively common. This collection is the opposite: very little here could be called “common.”

I initially thought of simply presenting photos without any IDs. However, the must-know-what-plant-it-is nerd inside of me prevailed so I'm adding IDs where I have one. This still leaves quite a few plants unidentified, but the point is to show you the huge variety of shapes and textures. Focus on the photos; the visuals are what matters.

Ready for a walk through the weird and wonderful world of cacti?

Ariocarpus retusus

This is the time of year when Ariocarpus bloom. All the flowers in this post are from Ariocarpus taxa.

Ariocarpus fissuratus 'Godzilla'

Ariocarpus agavoides    

Ariocarpus retusus var. furfuraceus

Ariocarpus retusus var. confusus

Ariocarpus sp.

Ariocarpus retusus var. furfuraceus

Ariocarpus fissuratus


Stenocactus sp.

Copiapoa sp.


Unknown opuntioid

Unknown opuntioid

Astrophytum myriostigma

Astrophytum myriostigma

Astrophytum myriostigma




Parodia sp.

Pumpkin or cactus?



Rebutia sp.

Aloe florenceae

Uebelmannia pectinifera seedlings

Copiapoa cinerea seedlings

Mammillaria bocasana 'Fred' (monstrose form)


Since I don't have a greenhouse (and no plans of building one), I was perfectly happy admiring these plants up close. Plus, I can always go back for another visit when I need a cactus fix!


© Gerhard Bock, 2022. All rights reserved. To receive all new posts by email, please subscribe here.

Comments

  1. Very strange indeed - and a small piece of evidence of just how incredible the plant world is. The Ariocarpus that look like they're sprouting fur always startle me but that Astrophytum myriostigma blows me away. Aloe florenceae looks like it wants to be a Dyckia.

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    1. Some of these forms are beyond weird, aren't they?

      Aloe florenceae is small and beautiful but hard to find. Plus, it has a reputation of being tricky to grow in cultivation.

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  2. Those are some really cool plants! The Ariocarpus retusus var. furfuraceus looks like it might be Ariocarpus retusus cv. Cauliflower, which is one of my favorites!

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    Replies
    1. Kal, that's totally possible. Any cultivar with the name 'Cauliflower' has my attention :-).

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    2. Cauliflower is a cultivar of A. retusus, and I've come across retusus seedlings that wrinkle up like 'Cauliflower.' But something like 'Cauliflower King' is most definitely man-made :)

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  3. Wonderful collection, all expertly grown. The collector might be hounded for growing tips, I would imagine.

    Aloe florenceae, oooh!!

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  4. Replies
    1. I love seeing something completely different than what I'm used to.

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  5. So very cool! I loved seeing the many different forms of ariocarpus.

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    1. Just when you think you've seen it all, ha ha. (Not like I *really* think that.)

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  6. A fantastic collection with very unusual, alien looking plants. You are lucky to have the opportunity to see it in person. I find Astrophytum myriostigma quite lovely, with the intricate lacy white pattern and almost no spines: I should feel quite safe having it at home :-D
    chavli

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  7. Lucky you getting to see these weird and wonderful plants in real life. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen an ariocarpus in the flesh. The first specimen with all the ‘fur’ is really interesting. Wonder why it evolved like that?

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  8. Cacti come in such cool forms. Especially love the Ariocarpus and Astrophytum. A collector's delve down the rabbit hole.

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