Cactus Blog Archives

Cactus Blog Writers

Peter Lipson
Hap Hollibaugh

Cactus Watering


Here we are nearly 8 years into the 21st century, and I have yet to make an instructional cactus video. Until now. My first one is a little raw, but it is intense, direct, simple, and informational too. Give it a shot.<br /><br /><object width="425" height="350"><param value="http://www.youtube.com/v/QsVMkT_TlJw" name="movie" /><embed width="425" height="350" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/QsVMkT_TlJw" adblockframedobject="true" adblockframedobject2="true" adblockframename="adblock-frame-n7" /><br />
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Link of the Day


As long as we’re on the Peyote beat, here’s a photo of a Lophophora diffusa in it’s native habitat.<br /><br /><img width="432" hspace="5" height="324" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/misc/Lophophoradiffusa1.jpg" /><br /><br /><a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1730&amp;entry_id=1533" title="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/07/Lophophoradiffusa1.jpg" onmouseover="window.status=’http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/07/Lophophoradiffusa1.jpg’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Original (larger) photo</a> on wikimedia commons by <a target="_blank" href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1731&amp;entry_id=1533" title="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Kauderwelsch" onmouseover="window.status=’http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Kauderwelsch’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Kauderwelsch</a>.<br /><a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1732&amp;entry_id=1533" title="http://lophophora.blogspot.com/2007/10/habitat-photos-lophophora-etc.html" onmouseover="window.status=’http://lophophora.blogspot.com/2007/10/habitat-photos-lophophora-etc.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Link with more photos</a> via lophophora blog.<br /><br />

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More Peyote News


ABC News reports on the <a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1729&amp;entry_id=1532" title="http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory?id=4008913" onmouseover="window.status=’http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory?id=4008913′;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Bad Times for Peyote Harvesters</a>. The article is the same wire story I’ve already posted about, but they add this bit to the mix:<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;"><img width="413" hspace="5" height="310" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/misc/ap_peyote_071217_ms.jpg" /><br />This is a commonly found peyote plant, photographed March 20, 2004, it is often confused with the rare star cactus that is an endangered species found only in certain parts of northern Mexico and Starr County, Texas. A first ever study of this star cactus is being done on land purchased by the Nature Conservancy under a species recovery plan directed by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife. It is believed by people conducting the study that there are only 2,000 or so of the starcactus left in the wild. The location is kept secret because of poachers who can get a large sum of money for the cactus. (Joe Hermosa/ AP Photo )</span><br /></div><br />

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Christmas Hangover


Too much family hanging around? Feeling a little woozy from the Uncle and his Ron Paul talk? Did you just drink too much yesterday and now you’ve woken up with <a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1728&amp;entry_id=1531" title="http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/health/sliced-cactus-can-cure-your-hangover_1009416.html" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/health/sliced-cactus-can-cure-your-hangover_1009416.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">a hangover?</a> Well, it’s too late for cactus to help. You should have eaten a pad before you started drinking at 7am yesterday morning.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">A new study has revealed that eating the prickly plant before boozing prevents post-alcohol sickness and headaches. Researchers at the Tulane University, New Orleans say that the cactus’ atypical carbohydrates obstruct the gut absorbing too many sugars. “Many of the health benefits of cactus are related to its water-retaining properties,” The Sun quoted lead researcher Prof Tony Blake, as saying. “It is a good source of vitamins A, B, C and K and contains many essential minerals,” he added. </span><br /></div><br />Now you know, so you have no excuses for the future. And it makes a delicious aperitif too.<br /><br />

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Winter Gardening


What to do with the kids on winter break? <a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1727&amp;entry_id=1530" title="http://www.explorernews.com/article/show/21055" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.explorernews.com/article/show/21055′;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">In Tucson</a> they garden.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">With the school break upon us, and the kids getting bored… It’s time to get outside and do something real. Simply puttering around, putting things to right in the landscape can be very relaxing. Have the kids help. Put them to work….<br />
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If you simply must feel productive, right now is a fine time to add mulch against frost… Just don’t mulch the inch or so right next to the trunk, which could encourage rot. Mulch will help save water in summer, too. <span style="font-weight: bold;">Just don’t mulch succulents like cacti and agave.</span></span><br /></div><br />My parents never gardened with us when we were little. They kept it all to themselves. Well, no, they did no gardening themselves either.<br /><br />

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Oscar Peterson – London


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Again with the Cactus Massage


It has been brought to my attention that Saturday’s post about cactus massage, which referred to a previous post indicating that there is more than one spa that does cactus massage, was in fact referring to the <span style="font-style: italic;">same</span> spa that does cactus massage. I have been told there is only <span style="font-style: italic;">one</span> spa that does this special technique. Well, you can be the judge of that. First we have <a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1724&amp;entry_id=1525" title="http://cactusjungle.com/blog/archives/1524-More-Cactus-Massage.html" onmouseover="window.status=’http://cactusjungle.com/blog/archives/1524-More-Cactus-Massage.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Saturday’s post</a>, from the Halifax Daily News:<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">The 160-hectare Four Seasons resort in Irving, just outside Dallas…</span><br /></div><br />And now we have a <a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1725&amp;entry_id=1525" title="http://cactusjungle.com/blog/archives/1485-Cactus-Massage.html" onmouseover="window.status=’http://cactusjungle.com/blog/archives/1485-Cactus-Massage.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">post from 2 weeks</a> ago from the Toronto Star, suspiciously also Canadian.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">The Spa and Salon at the Four Seasons Resort cultivates a calming balance…</span><br /></div><br />Now you can decide for yourself. Are there one or two spas featuring the cactus massage? Go on, decide….<br /><br />

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Blooming Video


<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/yYUsr8RZvSU" /><embed width="425" height="350" adblockframename="adblock-frame-n7" adblockframedobject2="true" adblockframedobject="true" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/yYUsr8RZvSU" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" /></object> <br /><br />

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Too Late


It may be too late for christmas, but then I’ve never cross-stitched a doilie, so maybe not.<br /><br /><img width="300" hspace="5" height="401" border="0" src="/blog/uploads/misc/cross_stitch_10089-3.gif" /><br /><br />It’s a cross stitch cactus from <a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1726&amp;entry_id=1527" title="http://www.s-embroidery.com/magazin/catalog/Cross_Stitch_Cactus_Set_1_p_136.html" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.s-embroidery.com/magazin/catalog/Cross_Stitch_Cactus_Set_1_p_136.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">s-embroidery.com</a>, as if you didn’t know.<br /><br />

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Older Pictures


One of the first pictures I took for the nursery about 5 years ago was this lovely succulent. Back then, I was trying different backgrounds. Having decided that the greenhouse did not make a good backdrop, I took a few pictures in the dining room. It’s not bad.<br /><br /><img width="216" hspace="5" height="288" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/cactus/ceraria_pygmae.JPG" /><br /><br />Ceraria pygmaea<br /><br />

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More Cactus Massage


I recently posted about a spa that does cactus massages, and now here’s another one. From a travel article in the Halifax Daily News.

The 160-hectare Four Seasons resort in Irving, just outside Dallas… offered two unusual treatments which seemed an ideal part of a trip to Texas. For the gentlemen, it was the Cowboy Massage…For the ladies, something even more exotic – the prickly pear cactus body glaze. This smooth, soothing gel, rich in amino acids, was massaged slowly into the skin from toes to shoulder.

Juicy. Interesting how they use the terms “For the gentlemen” and “For the ladies.” Those Canadians are just a little loopy.

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Celebrity News


I’ve never had a bit of celebrity news to share before. But now it appears that Hillary Swank’s succulent habits are important enough to the people of Columbus, Ohio to print an entire article in the <a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1722&amp;entry_id=1523" title="http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/flipside/stories/2007/12/17/3_PEO17_ART_12-17-07_D8_HL8P906.html?type=rss&cat=&sid=101" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/flipside/stories/2007/12/17/3_PEO17_ART_12-17-07_D8_HL8P906.html?type=rss&cat=&sid=101′;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Dispatch</a>, and so I have excerpted this gem for you too:<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">Hilary Swank takes 45 vitamin supplements every day…. &quot;This is my <span style="font-weight: bold;">Aloe</span> C, which I dissolve in water,&quot; she told an interviewer for the January issue. &quot;Here’s my flax. This one’s for my immune system, and this one is my BrainWave. It’s great….</span><br /></div><br />I do feel better knowing Ms. Swank is taking all her vitamins.<br /><br />

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New Cactus House


The new <a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1721&amp;entry_id=1522" title="http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/1219phxdbg1218.html" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/1219phxdbg1218.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Cactus House</a> at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix is set to open in the spring, and it’s going to be a showcase for an incredible collection.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">For years, the aluminum lath house that sheltered the Desert Botanical Garden’s treasured cactus collection sorely needed a dynamic makeover….<br />
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Susan Ahearn, a garden volunteer since 1970, said getting rid of the old structures was a dream come true….<br />
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Scott McMahon, curator of cactuses, said the galleries will open to the public April 2. He said the public will be impressed not only by the design of the plantings, but also by the new specimens from Old World and New World locales.</span><br /></div><br />Now that’s progress.<br /><br />

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Friday Whippet Blogging


Not sure what to get the Whippet fancier in your life? Well, there’s always kitsch. For instance, here’s a Foundry Bronze Whippet Sculpture w/Standing Female from<a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1717&amp;entry_id=1520" title="http://www.k9gifts.com/bronze-dog-statues/whippet.html" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.k9gifts.com/bronze-dog-statues/whippet.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;"> K9 Gifts</a>.<br /><br /><img width="216" hspace="5" height="347" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/whippets/whippet.jpeg" /><br /><br />They have a full selection of <a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1718&amp;entry_id=1520" title="http://www.k9gifts.com/dog-gifts/whippet.html" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.k9gifts.com/dog-gifts/whippet.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">whippet kitsch</a>. And every <a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1719&amp;entry_id=1520" title="http://www.k9gifts.com/doggifts.html" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.k9gifts.com/doggifts.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">other breed</a> too. Good luck to you.<br /><br />Oh, and did I mention the Whippet Trivets? How could I have forgotten.<br /><br />

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Presidential Campaign Cactus Quotes


In an article about Mike Huckabee’s lack of humor, <a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1720&amp;entry_id=1521" title="http://www.slate.com/id/2180170/" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.slate.com/id/2180170/’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Slate</a> relates this classic campaign trail joke by Mo Udall.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">&quot;I’m Mo Udall and I’m running for president,&quot; the failed Democratic candidate said, walking into a shop. &quot;Yeah,&quot; replied the barber, &quot;we were just laughing about that.&quot; Candidates don’t repeat Udall’s better lines, like his observation that <span style="font-weight: bold;">the difference between a cactus and a caucus is that with a cactus, the pricks are on the outside.</span></span><br /></div><br />I’m laughing on the inside, where it counts.<br /><br />

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Literature


The <a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1715&amp;entry_id=1519" title="http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/17/menus-as-literature/" onmouseover="window.status=’http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/17/menus-as-literature/’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">New York Times</a> reviews literary menus at restaurants in Philadelphia (I don’t know why, just go with it) and comes up with this literary ode to the cactus:<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">“The cactus leaf is a bed with the tropical tamarindo sauce inviting the chile chipotle to participate as a witness in the lynching of the fabulous filet mignon, along with the chiles serranos….”<br />
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“In the city of Puebla,” the narrative continues, “several convents were active in creating much of the traditional Mexican cooking, as we know it today. One such convent was expecting a visit by a distinguished archbishop. A nun decided to serve a sauce known by the Nahuatl Indians as ‘mulli.’ However ‘mulli’ is a potpourri of hot chiles.”</span><br /></div><br />Indeed, menus can be quite the masterpiece of literary fiction.<br /><br />

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Former Republican Governor of Massachusetts Quote of the Day


The man from Massachusetts in <span style="font-style: italic;">this</span> year’s presidential race said:<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">“You know, I’m an English literature major as well. When we say, ‘I saw the <span style="font-weight: bold;">Patriots win the World Series</span>, it doesn’t necessarily mean you were there…&quot;</span><br /></div><br /><a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1716&amp;entry_id=1518" title="http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2007/12/20/politics/fromtheroad/entry3636089.shtml" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2007/12/20/politics/fromtheroad/entry3636089.shtml’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Mitt Romney on CBS.</a><br /><br />

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Letter to the Editor


The original article this letter is referring to was something about public art, but it’s hard to tell from the letter itself. From the <a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1713&amp;entry_id=1517" title="http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/articles/1217monlets172.html" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/articles/1217monlets172.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Arizona Republic letters page</a>:<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">We need shade. The diaphanous flexible nets would probably work great for shade. But a blooming cactus flower does not give much shade, so let’s try another design that would be a roof.</span><br /></div><br />No way.<br /><br />

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More on Peyote


As if yesterday’s Peyote posting wasn’t enough, in which we passed on everything we know about the cactus, and linked to an article about how tourists in Mexico were decimating the wild population, now here comes a story about the Texas variety of Peyote. <a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1712&amp;entry_id=1516" title="http://uk.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUKN2861718520071217" onmouseover="window.status=’http://uk.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUKN2861718520071217′;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">From Reuters</a> we find out that they are having similar problems with dwindling numbers of peyote plants in the wild. In Texas the problem is not wasted hippies, but stems largely from lands being used for hunting preserves for the wealthy. Dick Cheney often shoots captive animals there.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;"> The profession seems barely legal in a nation perennially at war with drugs, but in the peyote region there is nothing clandestine about it.<br />
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Morales has a big sign out in front of his modest home that proclaims &quot;Mauro Morales — Peyote Dealer, Buy or Sell Peyote.&quot;<br />
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It includes his phone number should any prospective customers pass by.<br />
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&quot;It’s a business,&quot; he said with a shrug of the shoulders in a recent interview. &quot;It’s the only income I got.&quot;</span><br /></div><br />More after the break…<br /><br />
<br /><a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/archives/1516-guid.html#extended">Continue reading "More on Peyote"</a>

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Peyote


People want to know about Peyote. So here you go, a blog entry with the word in the title, so you can find this information easily when you google the word Peyote. It’s an illegal drug in the U.S. We don’t sell it. We don’t have it. I’ve never tried it and wouldn’t know how to, so don’t ask. However, I do know that it is becoming more rare in the wild, threatened, endangered even. And it has very pretty flowers. From the <a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1710&amp;entry_id=1514" title="http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/mexico/20071209-9999-1n9peyote.html" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/mexico/20071209-9999-1n9peyote.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">San Diego Union-Tribune</a>:<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;"><img width="280" hspace="5" height="185" border="2" align="left" src="/blog/uploads/misc/news-peyote.jpg" />This ground-hugging native of Mexico’s northern desert is in danger of disappearing, a victim of psychedelic tourism, silver mining and greenhouse tomatoes….<br />
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(T)he Huichol Indians… have used peyote for hundreds, possibly even thousands of years, in ceremonies to communicate with their gods….<br />
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As they walk through the desert toward their holy mountain, towering above the mining town of Real de Catorce, they run into foreign tourists with stupefied smiles, sucking hallucinogenic juice from the revered plant….<br />
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</span><br /></div><br />Now you know everything you need to know so don’t go stealing it from the wild and don’t ask me nothing because this is all I know.<br /><br /><br /><a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/archives/1514-guid.html#extended">Continue reading "Peyote"</a>

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Virginia Succulents


They grow them indoors in the winter in Virginia, so the <a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1709&amp;entry_id=1513" title="http://www.dailypress.com/news/local/virginia/dp-fea–gardening-greenh1210dec10,0,4856769.story" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.dailypress.com/news/local/virginia/dp-fea–gardening-greenh1210dec10,0,4856769.story’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Daily Press</a> tells us.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">Late February is a good time to get your seeds started if you want some maturity for a springtime display in your greenhouse, or want plants ready to go into the ground after the last killing frost. Many succulents are dormant, making it an easy time to clean them up, repot and check for insects. Those that are still growing should be watered, but sparsely.</span><br /></div><br />That’s a lot of advance planning for a home based hobby greenhouse.<br /><br />

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Republican Quote of the Day


&quot;After 10 full years inside the GOP, 90 days among honest criminals wasn’t really any great ordeal.&quot;<br /><br />Allen Raymond in <em>How to Rig an Election: Confessions of a Republican Operative</em>. Via <a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1711&amp;entry_id=1515" title="http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/061356.php" onmouseover="window.status=’http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/061356.php’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Talking Points Memo</a>.<br /><br />

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Rain


The <a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1708&amp;entry_id=1512" title="http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/articles/1212quickhit-ingley12.html" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/articles/1212quickhit-ingley12.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Arizona desert perks up</a> after it rains.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">As a metaphor for hope and renewal, there’s nothing quite like rain in the desert. Just two weeks ago, after a string of brutally dry months, the cactus pads were shriveled. The virtually indestructible creosote had brown brittle leaves. Smaller plants such as bursage were reduced to bundles of sticks. Then came the rain. The desiccated moss on rocks burst into brief life. Within days, tiny leaves appeared on plants that looked dead. And the cactus plumped out.<br />
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– Kathleen Ingley, editorial writer</span><br /></div><br />And we find that the entire nursery is so pretty when a sunny day follows some heavy rains. On the other hand, rain after rain just makes me soggy. Oh, and the plants too.<br /><br /><br />

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Cactus


From the Smithsonian <a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1707&amp;entry_id=1511" title="http://ravenel.si.edu/botany/botart/showImage.cfm?myimage=images/15.JPG&mynumber=15" onmouseover="window.status=’http://ravenel.si.edu/botany/botart/showImage.cfm?myimage=images/15.JPG&mynumber=15′;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Catalog of Botanical Illustrations</a> comes this amazing plate:<br /><br /><img width="402" hspace="5" height="546" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/misc/smithsonian15.JPG" /><br /><br />© Smithsonian Institution<br />
Plate Number: 15<br />
Publication: The Cactaceae Vol. 3 Pl 22, Fig 1,2,3 and 4<br />
Client: Britton, N.L. and Rose, J.N. – Size: 11×14<br />
<br /><a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/archives/1511-guid.html#extended">Continue reading "Cactus"</a>

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Apple Lemon


We had the company party last night and I’m still a little groggy. I made cranberry margaritas which were very popular with the young crowd.<br /><br />And on top of that the new Mac broke again yesterday. I hate Apple. But I’ll get around to some cactus blogging soon enough, I’m sure. We’ll just let the aspirin kick in first.<br /><br />

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Link of the Day


<a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1706&amp;entry_id=1509" title="http://jardinagens.blogspot.com/2007/12/verde-que-te-quero-verde.html" onmouseover="window.status=’http://jardinagens.blogspot.com/2007/12/verde-que-te-quero-verde.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">jardinagens</a> has a lovely little succulent garden that looks newly planted. But I don’t read portuguese, so I can’t be sure.<br /><br /><br />

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North Carolina Cactus


They like them their cactus in winter in North Carolina. So says BlueRidgeNow.com.

Perhaps not enjoying the magnitude of poinsettia’s notoriety as a holiday symbol, a Christmas cactus in full bloom is no less stunning. A virtual heirloom, the long-lived plant is often passed down through the generations. Difficult to kill, even for this experienced flower hunter, our plant’s Achilles heel appears to be improper watering techniques. This year half the plant succumbed to too much water due to inadequate drainage from the base of its pot. Fortunately, this situation was timely corrected and the remaining half is right on schedule for a Christmas crescendo….

North Carolina’s wild native cactus, Opuntia humifusa, does have typical cactus features, and lives up to its common name, prickly pear. Producing an attractive spring-blooming flower, prickly pear can only be dealt with using extreme caution and adequate protection since the spines can cause injury and pain. Pets and children must be protected from contact with prickly pear plants.

Oh, they’re just talking about the christmas cactus like everyone else this time of year. Everyone must be pretty sick of poinsettias.

 

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Asparagus


What do Cactus and Asparagus have in common? Why, US Farms, of course. <a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1704&amp;entry_id=1507" title="http://www.resourceinvestor.com/pebble.asp?relid=38588" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.resourceinvestor.com/pebble.asp?relid=38588′;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">The Resource Investor</a> recommends investing in a company called US Farms because they are diversified beyond food crops into cactus and aloe too.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">In the first quarter of each year, US Farms is one of the largest U.S. growers of asparagus….<br />
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At first glance, US Farms looks like a fairly normal farming operation. It is a diversified farming and nursery company. The nursery unit, which provides a full range of ornamental products like Aloe Vera, Cactus, Jade, Palm Trees and Cycads, is a relatively small unit of the company, providing only about 4% of sales. The biggest revenue generator currently results from is the growing and brokering of the food crops, asparagus, tomatoes, and garlic, and the growing and harvesting of Aloe Vera for use as an ingredient of patent medicines and cosmetics.</span><br /></div><br />I can’t say I know anything about this &quot;investing&quot; thing they’re talking about. All I know is that if you bought any securities, especially of the SIC variety, over the last 5 years then there’s a good chance you own a piece of the mortgage mess and have less liquidity and more risk than you ever imagined. Good luck with that.<br /><br />There is this other tidbit in the article too:<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">One of the ideas under investigation is the potential of some of the cacti and succulents, including types of Aloe Vera, as a remediation crop for old mining properties. Aloe Vera will grow on some pretty sparse soil, with limited moisture required, so the plants might work in areas that don’t freeze and have soil with little contained humus.<br /><br /></span></div>

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Rain


We’re coming up on a week of rain, starting last night. So make sure your cacti and succulents have good drainage. If they’re in pots and sitting on a concrete deck, then for god’s sake lift them up on pot feet already so they can drain out the drainage hole in the bottom.<br /><br />I’m just cranky ’cause I’m going to be outside at the nursery in the cold and rain all day today. <br /><br />

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Christmas Cactus Questions


Everybody wants to know about the christmas cactus this time of year. How to take care of it, how to get it to bloom.<br /><br /><a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1702&amp;entry_id=1505" title="http://www.cactusjungle.com/plant_pages/christmas_cactus_bloom_instructions.html" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.cactusjungle.com/plant_pages/christmas_cactus_bloom_instructions.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Our secrets to your success are located here</a>.<br /><br />And then here’s the <a href="http://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1703&amp;entry_id=1505" title="http://www.dailybulletin.com/ci_7724519" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.dailybulletin.com/ci_7724519′;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Ontario (CA) Daily Bulletin</a>, as they get questions.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">Q: How do I maintain the gorgeous Christmas cactus which I just purchased?<br />
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A: Christmas cactus, Schlumbergera, is native to the jungle as an epiphyte, (it grows in the trees). It is not a desert plant; therefore it does best in rich porous soil. The arching, drooping branches are made up of flattened, oblong, scalloped-edged, 1-1/2 inch joints. These branches are green, smooth, and spineless. A well grown plant can become 3 feet across and hanging below the raised pot, sometimes reaching the floor.<br />
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The flowers are long-tubed, with many petals about 3 inches long. Most varieties are red, but the new hybrids are pink to fuchsia, and a rosy purplish red in color. A large plant could have hundreds of flowers at this time of the year.<br />
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Water frequently and use a diluted liquid fertilizer every 7 to 10 days when the plant is growing and flowering. It does best in bright indirect sunlight with night temperatures of 60 to 70 degrees and 70 degrees or higher in the day. After the blooming period, do not water, except to keep the soil moist.<br />
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To help bud set and flowers at the holiday time, keep the plant where it is cool (55-60 degrees) with 12 to 14 hours of darkness. This should be done in November.<br />
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Schlumbergera, truncate, (Zygocactus truncates) is also known as Crab Cactus). The joints are 1-2 inches long, sharply toothed with two large teeth at the end of the last joint. Short tube flowers with pointed petals bloom from November through March. Colors range from white, pink, to salmon and orange. This plant has been nicknamed the Thanksgiving cactus as it begins to bloom at this time.</span><br /></div><br />Now you know everything.<br /><br />

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