A Cactus Grows in Paris

It’s all available at Les Succulents Cactus. I’ve blogged about them before, but now we have a good picture of the store on JOELIX.com – a traveling friend to succulents.

Here’s a small picture I’ve borrowed from JOELIX to entice you to click through to see all the pictures of the Cactus in Paris.


The store as seen in these pictures is reminiscent of the late and lamented Red Desert cactus store in San Francisco up to about 12 years ago. Then they closed. Now you can go to Paris instead.



Astrophytum capricorne is known as the Monks Hood.


Astrophytum ornatum is the well known Bishops Cap.

Or is it vice-versa? Hard to know. Cactus are such mysterious creatures. But we do know the A. ornatum will grow to 3 feet tall, while the much less common A. capricorne will stay below 12″.

Beavertail Cactus


Opuntia basilaris v. caudata – Beavertail Cactus – amazing and beautiful.

Compact variety. Smaller pads than the species, often heart-shaped. Will stay as low as 1 foot tall, but will spread 4 feet wide.

  • Hardy to 0F if very dry
  • Full Sun to Part Sun
  • Cactus Soil
  • Low Water

Beehive Cactus


Coryphantha delaetiana – Beehive Cactus
3″ across, solitary. Rhomboid tubercles. Pale yellow flowers.
  Hardy to 25F 
  Full Sun to Part Sun
  Cactus Soil
  Low Water

Berkeley Cactus


San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Flowering cholla among the bamboo.

Blooming Cactus

Mystery Cactus

Blooming? Check! … Cactus? You bet! … Species? No idea…. 🙁

Blooming Cactus Flowers

Beautiful Ariocarpus retusus flowers!

Ariocarpus retusus

Common Name: Living Rock Cactus, Seven Stars, Chaute

Origin: Mexico

Description: Highly variable, possibly through hybridizing. Slow-growing to 10″d; hairy center; summer blooms. Keep dry in winter

Temperature: Hardy to 15F

Blooming Cactus 

Rebutia heliosa v melanistic

Origin: Bolivia

“Short Spined” variety

Clustering small stems, variable red to magenta flowers, spiraling ribs with prominent tubercles. Elongate areoles. Short, tiny brown spines. Purple-tinged stems in full sun.

Full Sun to Part Sun
Ultra Soil Blend
Low Water

Size: Clusters of 1″ stems

Blooming San Pedro Cactus


Dominic shares his first bloom off a Cactus Jungle San Pedro cactus in the heat today in Pinole. Nice. Hot.

Thanks, Dominic.

Boston Cactus

Fear Not, New England: The Hilltop Cactus Is Here To Stay


The Hilltop Steakhouse sign is “one of the few remaining landmarks on Route 1 in Saugus from the bygone era.”
Boston Globe

The plastic cows may be forever gone from Route 1, but the giant, green neon north star in Saugus is going nowhere fast.

A sign from my youth. And it’s still there? Who knew!?! Classic.



The Echinopsis grandiflora hybrids are starting to bloom! This yellow one is called, or we call it, “Buttercup”. Because it’s yellow. Nice!

Butterfly Mango 

Echinopsis x grandiflora “Butterfly Mango” 

Another giant #cactus flower! Sweet. It’s a good spring for cactus flowers. 

Cactus Berkeley

Opuntia Berkeley

Spruce Street, Berkeley

Opuntia species with a lot of ripe red fruit.

And here’s the ripe red close-up:

Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit

Cactus Candy


I’m back! Someone gave me some cactus candy for Christmas so I’ve been on a sugar rush ever since. Nice!

Cactus Fences Make Good Neighbors

The Desert Sun has a suggestion of what to do with all your spare cactus. Make a fence! They have good ideas for using some of the taller prickly pear species, or if you prefer the more modern look they recommend a few different column cactus that will work for fences. Like the Fencepost Cactus, of course.

One first-hand account from mission days explained the cactus fence solved the problem of little suitable timber in coastal Southern California. The cactus fence was devised as a substitute. They were started by cutting paddles from well established cactus that reach the height desired. They’re inserted into the ground in a tightly spaced row where they root and grow quickly if watered. Prickly pear fences were not only perfect for containing livestock; they effectively protected the homestead from hostiles. No living thing on this Earth will penetrate a dense prickly pear hedge.

The cleanest living fences are made of fence post cactus, Pachycereus marginatus. These minimally spined upright cactus stems are ramrod straight, making the most amazing green walls. The best example I’ve ever seen was at the ethnobotanical garden in Oaxaca, Mexico where the fences are crisp and straight.

We use a giant cholla for fencing, both at the nursery and at home. Austrocylindropuntia subulata makes for a very good fence. Very spiny. Fast growing. Dangerous to try to breach. And pretty magenta flowers too. What more could you want?


Cactus Flower


Another picture of a Parodia nivosa in bloom. So much pretty.

And a bonus photo! Of a perfect fall day in Central Park in New York. Nice!


Cactus Flower Weekend


The flowering cactus are out in full force, full bloom, full glorious sunshine today and all weekend long! Now is definitely the time to get an eyeful.


These are all what we call Echinocereus grandiflora Hybrids, but others call them Tricho-Lobivia Hybrids. I would tell you why the others are wrong, but that would probably bore you to tears, so I will only leave you with this one word of advice: Don’t trust the Botanists.

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December 2021

US Constitution


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