Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Los Angeles Morning

Echinopsis x Los Angeles
The knowledge of yesterday's storm damage to my garden was on my mind as I arose this morning, until I looked outside and saw that there were ten fully opened flowers on my Echinopsis x Los Angeles. It certainly brightened my day. This is the second flush of the season for this cactus. The first produced two flowers, and they were quite large. These flowers are smaller, which is not unusual when there are a number of them.

The genus Echinopsis contains over 100 species of cacti from South America. In addition to the many species, there are hundreds of hybrids available in a multitude of colors. The common name for Echinopsis is Sea Urchin cactus or Easter lily cactus. When young, most are globular and as they age, they become columnar.

In Arizona, Echinopsis hybrids need light shade, but in other regions, most species can take full sun. Unlike many cacti, it has a large root system and likes a lot of room to grow, so it shouldn’t be potted in tight pots as with other cacti. I like to place my Echinopsis in my garden under the dappled light of a Palo Verde tree canopy. The ones I have planted there are doing very well.

In the 1930s and 1940s, Harry Johnson of Paramount, California created many of the Echinopsis hybrids that are available today. Echinopsis hybrids are very easy to grow. The pups produced will be identical to the parent, so if you find a hybrid that you like, you can be sure that the flowers that come from the pups will be true to the parent. It is also easy to grow Echinopsis hybrids from seed, but there is no guarantee that the flower will be the same. In fact, the flowers can be completely different in color and shape.


kate said...

Cactus flowers have to be some of the most beautiful ... I'm learning much from visiting your blog. Thank you.

Mark said...

Hi Aiyana,

It certainly seems the year for unusual and extreme whether, hope you acn salvage your trees, the flowers on the cactus are spectacular and probably a nice site when you went to see the damage.

Cheers Mark