Top Ten Cactus of 2011

Family stuff intruded at the end of 2011 so I am late with the Top Ten Lists. I threw in some old photos last week to pass the time, but now I’m buckling down and getting them set up. I may only do 2 of these, but then I may be lying to you too.

Up first, 10 Cactus, all of them Top Cactus, from last year.

10. Rebutia fabrisii
We always try to bring out different mini blooming barrel cactus every year, and this was the year for this one. A nice orange-red color to contrast with all the other rebutias with orange or red flowers. I wonder what we’ll have for you this year?

9. Parodia magnifica
Another small cactus but this one has yellow flowers! Our crop last year was really pretty. It’s a plant we’ve been growing for ever, but these had a little bit extra last year. (And no, I’m not talking about mealy bugs).

8. Echinopsis spachiana
We’ve carried a lot of Echinopsis hybrids, usually not named, but this one with the giant white flowers is a pretty nice species all on its own.

7. Echinopsis, unnamed cultivar
This was my favorite flower color from the Echinopsis hybrids of last year.

6. Tunilla erectoclada
We’ve had these incorrectly named for years. Now they’re fixed. These are some of the most dangerous of tiny little cacti. As the French would say, ne touche pas!

5. Denmoza rhodacantha
I love these barrel cacti with the weird tubular flowers, clearly indicating they’re related to the Cleistocacti and the Oreocereuses.

4. Mammillaria perbella
We always have a lot of different Mammillarias hanging around, some of which we still haven’t gotten around to identifying, but this is one of the most satisfying of the Mammillarias, so welcome to our Top Ten List!

3. Espostoa melanostele
We used to only have a few giant specimens of these yellow-spined plants from South America, but now we have more and smaller too. On the smaller plants the yellow spines kind of look fake. Nice!

2. Ferocactus emoryi
This is a reliable bloomer for us, reliably producing seed too. And yet, last year the blooms were just a little bit prettier, a little bit more special. The bees loved the too, so you know they’re good.

And the Top Cactus of 2011 is…

Wait for it…

1.Opuntia ramosissima
Also known as the Pencil Cholla. This one is clearly a surprise to all of you. I’m betting none of you had this in your office pools to win Top Cactus of 2011, but there you have it. I double checked the ballots, and it’s true; it’s the winner. Now let’s get back to work, producing 2012’s not-yet-known Top Cactus. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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