Another Reason I Like Cactus

As I mentioned on Facebook the other day, the cactus blooming season is upon us. All of the pictures I am about to share with you were taken on the same day, April 29th. I found one lovely surprise after another as I walked through my outdoor cactus garden. And the rainbow cactus, the echinocereus rigidissimus, which are probably the ones I have the most of, and whose blooms come in myriad forms but always have outstanding pink flowers, haven’t even hit their stride yet. It‘s a treasure hunt, discovering one prize after another. Look at what I found during just one day.

IMG_5046 
Cactus from Wyoming. Most of the Wyoming cactus bloomed earlier, but several surprised me with flowers now.

IMG_5048
The bombax tree, which actually had at one time six flowers blooming at once. Large leaves will follow.

IMG_5049
The blue bonnets always look pretty with the first echinocereus ridigissimus, rainbow cactus, adding pink to the mix.

IMG_5051 
Those echinocereus rainbows up close.

IMG_5054
This hardy delosperma is one of the first plants to begin blooming.

IMG_5055 
This smaller hedgehog claret cup came from the area around Lake LBJ at Kingsland and has doubled in size since I brought it home. And by the way, it bothers me not one bit to rescue wild cactus which are destined to be bulldozed in the name of progress for some ticky-tacky residential development. And I have owner permission to dig them up.
IMG_5056
I hope you can see the unbelievable number of buds on this small-pad prickly pear which I have yet to identify and alas, can’t remember where it came from. In a few days it will be a mass of yellow flowers and have honey bees working feverishly to collect pollen and nectar from them.
IMG_5058 
The cholla is heavy with buds, but the red hedgehogs, echinocereus triglochidiatus, steal the show here. Chollas are in the opunita family, which means they are related to prickly pear, even though at first glance they look nothing alike.
IMG_5083
And speaking of prickly pear, this one bloomed also.
IMG_5061
This big hedgehog came from the Fort Stockton area and is a much bigger plant that the others, which were given to me by someone who didn’t want them. I am not sure where they came from, but they are pretty, too. But I marvel at the size of the stems on the Fort Stockton plants.
IMG_5065
This horse crippler, echinocactus texensis, came from the JD Cage ranch east of Muleshoe and is huge for this kind of cactus. The picture doesn’t really show just how large it is; it measures 9 inches across. The little wild daisies came home with it when I dug it up, and I like the way they look dotted around the cactus. I have several different varieties of horse cripplers, each one with different variations in their spines and flowers.
IMG_5072
This hardy delosperma turns reddish-purple during the cold months, then greens up and blooms yellow when it warms up. Unlike other delospermas, which are what we usually call ice plants, this one blooms in spring and then is done blooming for the rest of the year.
IMG_5078
And I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Cactus are such forgiving plants as far as their growing conditions are concerned, and then they reward the viewer with beauty like this.

I think I’ll go see what is blooming today.

Advertisements

One thought on “Another Reason I Like Cactus

  1. Hi! I live in the middle of New York State. I LOVE your photos and your text. I am so glad I just found out how long this blog is… so I will be examining it for days! I want you to know, I am taking copies of most of your photos. They will help me learn, and I will use them as wallpaper sometimes. I will be crushed if I get back to my wallpapers and find out that yours didn’t copy. That happens occasionally, and loads of photos appear as white squares! But whatever, thank you for sharing all your cacti with me. I’m sure you’ll enjoy seeing your cacti grow from year to year when you review your blog photos!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s