Cactus Question

From the Cactus Jungle Facebook Page comes a Cactus Question:

Question: Echinopsis hybrid. My friend brought him to Florida. Any idea what the brown growth is all about?


Barbra Ann

Barbra Ann,

Nice flowers! The cactus is an Echinopsis eyriesii – Easter Lily Cactus. It’s called “barking” and the cactus is forming bark at the base of the plant with age.


Italian Cactus Jungle

Apparently we have an Italian namesake – Cactus Jungle, Italy – and they make fabric cactuses.


Very nice! Welcome to the Cactus Jungle family! Now do we get a share of their profits?

Idaho Cactus


From my mother-in-law in Idaho comes a picture of some beautiful cactus in bloom; and a cousin made a cactus sculpture out of horseshoes.


Giant and Colorful Epiphyllum


It’s a Monday holiday miracle! The largest, most colorful Epi bloom I have ever captured on digital film.

Epiphyllums are often called Orchid Cactus, and sometimes called Night Blooming Cereus, but that last one would be wrong. Although some epi’s are night bloomers, most are not and none of the Epiphyllums are Cereuses. Cereus are Cereuses. And some true night blooming Cereus are almost as spectacular as this day blooming Epiphyllum. But then you’d have to wake up in the middle of the night for those, but not for these.

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

Purple Prickly Pears


Prickly Pear season starts with Opuntia “Baby Rita”, a santa-rita hybrid with small and spiny pads.

Small pads, will grow 3 feet tall. Very spiny pads turn purple in winter.

  • Hardy to 15F
  • Full Sun to Part Sun
  • Cactus Soil
  • Low Water

Blooming Cactus

Mystery Cactus

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

The Huntington

Rikki drove the 5 hours to go to the Huntington’s Spring Sale and got us some nifty pictures (some plants too…)

photo 1

Looks like an Aloe peglerae in front. Probably not. Never mind.


photo 2

Those are surely Echinocactus grusonii with some agressive Agaves too.

photo 3

Ceiba speciosa! So big, so spiny.

photo 4

Dyckia in front!

San Pedro Giant


Echinopsis pachanoi

This giant plant with 6 full size branches is now officially the 2nd most expensive cactus we’ve had out on the floor for sale, after the giant multi barrel Echinocactus grusonii that sold last year, but more than the previous San Pedro king that sold 7 years ago.

Come and check it out before it sells!

So tall!

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.

2014-04-11 08.54.37

2014-04-11 08.56.16



Hot Day

Lots of cactus are blooming today what with the heat and the hot and the sunshine too.

Coryphantha delaetiana

Coryphantha delaetiana is the classic Beehive Cactus from Durango, Mexico. Regular and reliable bloomers. We see new buds coming throughout the spring and summer usually.

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 – 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.

Cactus in Berkeley

opuntia stannage ave

Stannage Ave., Berkeley

This cactus is a Opuntia. Probably an Opuntia tuna-blanca which will get large orange flowers and large red edible cactus fruit. Tunas for everyone! Delicious.

More Old Heirloom Christmas Cactus

Yesterday featured the Crestview Times-Gruff newspaper and their local story of a woman and her ancient christmas cactus. Today we feature not just a local newspaper story, but a video. Yes, a video.


This video comes courtesy of the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune, and this time I am not making up the name. That name is for real. I love small town papers!

Jean Zieher of Wisconsin Rapids… has a Christmas cactus she’s had for more than 40 years….

“Old Man Cactus” is a large plant, with red-toned blossoms tugging at its leaves. Blossoming plants might not seem unusual. But this one? It’s likely more than 70 years old….

While it might not be a family tree, the plant has a history. Jean’s grandmother, Katherine Schenk, originally had the plant.

And the article came with a pun! A pun! (See italics above.)

Christmas Cactus Keeps Blooming

I love small town newspapers.

Crestview woman’s Christmas cactus covered in 200-plus blooms

You’ll need to click through to the Crestview Times-Picayune, or maybe it was the Crestview Daily-Reader or wait, no that wasn’t right, it was the Crestview World-Globe? Crestview News-Bulletin? Crestview Advertiser? Anyway, just click through for the picture of the old lady who has kept her mother’s heirloom christmas cactus alive for over 100 years. And the picture includes an inset of a Venus Fly Trap for some reason. I can’t find any reference in the article to the carnivorous plant in the Crestview woman’s collection, so I don’t know why the picture is there. Go ahead and take a look! You’ll see! It’s “Interesting”!

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 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



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″.

Sunday is Fun Day

How fun is it around here on a Sunday? Why, it’s Boxing-Glove-Cactus fun. Now that’s a heck of a lot of fun. If you click through the link to the artist’s own page, you will see a secret surprise on the backside of this heavenly Boxing Glove Cactus.

boxing glove cactus

Two String Jane

Oh, Boxing Glove Cactus, Why do you make me so happy?

Christmas Cacti

If this blog were a tumblr blog then all I would have to do is click the link to repost this item from the tumblr-o-sphere.

But no! I have a proper blog and all so I have to do a proper entry and calculate the settings and find the links and copy and paste and credit and so on, too.

And what is this really about? Christmas Cacti! Singing!

via CactGuy.

Also from CactGuy, this post linked from BatesNursery which was linked from Woseph of a mixed pot that Joseph planted up at the nursery. Things do seem to get around on the tumblr-nets.


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