Anecdotal Evidence

I heard from a customer about how the Japanese have started in on cultivating new Aechmea varieties, having completed a full range of Adenium varieties. I hear they’ve achieved a striped yellow and orange bloom. I think they should call it Striped Billionaire.

Is this reasonable?!?

Can I hit the “post” button? Should I? Is this for real? And here I go and hit “Post”… Woohoo!!!

Anecdotal Evidence!

I was sitting at Peet’s coffee drinking a classic Berkeley drink, the grande double decaf whipless soy-milk macchiato freddo with chocolate sprinkles, when I overheard a couple talking about the holidays and the drought and saying they were going to save money by buying drought-appropriate holiday gifts this year to save money.

2009 is shaping up to be the Year of the Cactus.

Actually, I prefer the whipped cream on all my soy-milk freddos.

Another Anecdote

Since the plural of anecdote isn’t data, I’ll grab a whole mess of anecdotes, way more than just “plural,” before claiming I have insight into the economy.

So here’s another anecdote for you to ponder without any conclusions drawn, until the end of the anecdote that is.

So I was sitting around at Cafe Trieste watching my friend Tara draw kittens for a show going up in a gallery in SF next April when I saw the barista slam an espresso drink and then he ate a slice of prickly pear fruit!

From this I deduce that cactus are going to be the next big addition to the local locavore movement. Get your cactus now while the gettings good, before they’re all eaten up. Also next spring, we’re going to start carrying organic vegetable starts for all you local Bay Area locavores.

Another Cactus Costume?

It is! It is another cactus costume for October National Cactus Costume Month here on the blog.

Someone named Hulaman likes to dress up every year, and not for Halloween, but for the Bay Area’s favorite race, Bay to Breakers.

cactus

1997 The Lone Saguaro
Since I moved to Tucson I wanted to go as a huge Saguaro cactus. The tricky part was making it so I could ship it with me. I’ve worn it in Tucson several times. I tried to do a play on words with a costume in a costume.

Yay!

Another Cactus Toy in the News

We’ve been featuring a series of very nice and happy cactus toys in the news recently.

This cactus toy seems not to have been a big success. In fact, according to the website, Cactus Reno was in fact a complete flop. Maybe it was too spiny for the little kids. It certainly looks dangerous.

This new toy seems to be manufactured by a mysterious character named jack683, from Montevideo, Uruguay. Don’t they have child safety laws in Uruguay?

Another Cactus Video

Kung Fu Maintenance gives a brief video tour of a cactus garden with huge cacti.

A little subtle for my taste, especially the closeup of the middle part of an agave bloom stalk. Subtle.

Another Joke

This one is not nearly as funny as the Demetri Martin joke below. So, really, don’t even bother reading this one – scroll down and read the other again instead.

Why did the cactus cross the road? Because it was stuck to the chicken.

Oh my god, I’m gonna die.

Another Yetman Photo

Here’s another picture “borrowed” from the Arizona Daily Star‘s article about David Yetman’s new book, “The Great Cacti: Ethnobotany and Biogeography.”

“They get maybe 20 feet tall. Here they’re growing toward the southern end of their habitat. This is a royal plant. I’ve actually visited this particular plant on numerous occasions.”

Antique Cactus Postcard

No longer for sale on EBay, they went for only .99c each! Oh, what a bargain we missed out on.

That’s a lot of cactus. Shall we name them all? And if we do, should we use the antique names, like Trichocereus and such, or update them to current standard as indicated in Anderson’s The Cactus Family?

Antique Cactus Print

What makes this an antique? It’s old.

Visiting Cards Cape Good Hope Africa Cactus Print 1883

It’s from a newspaper or magazine, and it appears to be an editorial cartoon. There’s some words on the cactus pads indicating something that must have been important in 1883, but I can’t read it from this image. If someone goes ahead and buys the original print, please let us know what it says so we can understand the context. Of course, we probably won’t understand the context anyway, not being from the 19th century and all.

Some days I feel like I should have been born in an earlier era, but not the 19th century. Maybe I could have had a lot of success in the 18th century. I could have been an explorer! Or a deckhand on a ship that went exploring into the pirate coast of Tripoli! That would have been exciting.

Aphids!

These are tiny little euphorbia blooms, and I didn’t see the aphids until I was working on the photos, and there they are! Click the photo to see the larger, more aphid-y version.

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Euphorbia characias blooms and aphids.

Be assured, those aphids are already gone, long before this photo makes it onto the blog.

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 />

Apple Problems

Well I’m late blogging today since I’ve been on the phone with Apple all morning trying to get some missing software for the new macbook pro. The 3-year-old ibook died completely last week, and the new macbook had a hard crash the first day and now it’s missing a whole bunch of software that the tech support people will spend hours on the phone with me to try to find, but won’t just let me download the software from apple. So 4 phone calls later, still no help.<br /><br />

Archos Still Sucks

An update on my broken Archos media player. I spoke with customer service, after an hour on hold getting through to tech support and then another 1/2 hour on hold being put through to customer service, and they will send me another RMA so I can send it back to them and they’ll put another note in there about the problem yet again. When I asked for a new unit, the woman said “Absolutely not.” So the first time I sent it in, they kept it for 1 week, before sending it back unfixed. The 2nd time I sent it in, they kept it 3 weeks before sending it back unfixed. Now they’re offering to take it back a 3 time, maybe to keep it for 5 weeks this time? They’ve had this unit in their shop for more time than I’ve had it in my home.

I called their US corporate offices and spoke to someone named John, and he said he would look into it for me.

In the meantime, Here’s a clearer video of the problem. I also figured out that the problem is with the screen, and not with the motherboard or other internal hardware. Interesting.

Archos Sucks

Let me take a moment out of my cactus day and rant a bit about Archos. Archos makes media devices with lots of memory so you can watch movies and such on a nice screen. Not cheap. However, my device is broken and Archos doesn’t seem to want to fix it, or replace it.

I have sent it back to them twice already, and they kept it for weeks on end, and then they sent it back to me and it is still broken! Why would they do that? Are they evil? I can’t make a clear determination on this, but it sure seems to me they are evil.

So I am pissed off as you can imagine. Maybe having a readership of a few hundred blog readers will get their attention, but I wouldn’t bet on it, evil bastards.

Argentine Barrel

Denmoza rhodacantha

I blogged this a couple months ago or so, when it first bloomed and we got our first shot at ID’ing it properly. Here’s another specimen in bloom – with 2 blooms (and a 3rd coming)! I’m so excited I could plotz.

Around the Craigslistosphere

Awesome Craigslist find by reader JBot.

Giant Eye-catching 9 foot Cactus Statue. Very very cool.
Must be Mascot for some Advertizement, not sure.
Metal skeleton with I think fiberglass exterior.
Very Sturdy. Very good shape.
$200

I think it may still be available if you’re interested. Don’t contact me, click through to the Craigslist page and contact the owner of this fine specimen.

Around the Tumblrs

a8fd55193fad273bc08b5a8d698ca61f

Found this random photo of a garden planted in a re-up-cycled meter box. I wonder how many of these are now available since the advent of the smart meter?

The original artist is¬†Andrew Manocheo from Chicago and the piece was featured in Sprout Home in case you don’t want to re-up-cycle one yourself.

Art or Kitsch

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The coolest, quirkiest, must-have piece of art at Mesa’s (AZ) Pita Jungle is a wall mirror framed by cactus skeletons. It’s got a great organic quality that speaks to our desert heritage without screaming, “Get yer Scottsdale kitsch here!”

I vote for kitsch.

As Featured on the Ellen Show

If the Ellen Show can stoop to showing the public this stupid photo, so can we.

We don’t sell that type of succulent at the Cactus Jungle.

“As seen on TV.”

As Long As I'm Featuring Cactus Hats Today

Here’s another hat, claiming to be a cactus hat. But it looks more like a grass hat if you ask me.

CRW_7892

This one is an English Knit Hat from Heppie Hats.

Super fuzzy! Heavyweight Forest Green with lots of lime fuzz. Acrylic and polyester.

Awesome

It’s an awesome Cactus Margarita Glass, 12 oz. and it’s available for only $5.00! And they have a lot of them in stock too. Now that’s a deal. I wonder how much for shipping?

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Awesome Cactus Object of the Day

I present this without comment.

Except for this one comment. This is the most ironically composed combination of pewter and jade-like blob featuring a cactus that has ever been featured on Cactus Blog. I’m so proud!

Baby Bird

The fledging flew for the first time from the nest in the Yucca and landed on our steps. It had to pause for energy before trying to fly again. The parents were watching the whole time as I sat and cheered the baby bird on.

Baby Cactus!

It’s a cactus costume for a baby, just in time for Halloween.

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Except it’s sewn onto a beanbag doll, and while it only costs $6 US, it’s only available for shipping to the Philippines. Oh well, maybe next year they’ll sell a costume version for a real live baby and sell it at Walmart. Chubby dollie…

Baby Toes

fenestraria_aurantiaca_bloom

Fenestraria aurantiaca is the classic strange succulent in the Mesemb family. Related to the Lithops, these are also very low water plants. We recommend keeping them out of full sun and watering every 3-4 weeks. With more sun and more water they can grow quite big, relatively speaking, but then they are very rot prone and most people will find that a higher water level schedule will kill them. Harsh!

The Fenestraria genus includes only two species: Fenestraria rhopalophylla (with white flowers) and Fenestraria aurantiaca (with yellow flowers), which in time have gained various hybrids, with very beautiful flowers (red and orange).

It also appears that F. aurantiaca is no longer considered a separate species, but is a subspecies of F. rhopalophylla. So I guess I better get all my tags updated.

Bamboo Fungus

Re: Dying bamboo!!
Hi Peter (and everyone)!When I called about fungus on my bamboo last week, you said to spray it with a warm water/baking soda mix and put a fan on it. So far, no good and it looks like it might be on its last leg. Could you let me know if there’s any way to save it?Thank you!
Rebecca

Rebecca,

You can try a more aggressive fungicide. Neem Oil might work as an organic solution sprayed on the plant and drenched in the soil at a 1% solution. Or if you want to go synthetic and a lot more aggressive, ¬†there are many on the market, though since we don’t use them we can’t really recommend which one to use.

Hap

And a followup after the break…
Read More…

Bamboo Grove

otatea_acuminata

Otatea acuminata

One of the best looking, very large, groves of this Mexican Weeping Bamboo you’ll ever see.

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