Saturday, January 12, 2008

Every Garden Needs One

One of the members of the local Cactus and Succulent Society grows most all his cactus from seed, and he regularly provides his baby cacti for the monthly club plant auction. This Ferocactus pottsii was among his offerings about six months ago. I had previously purchased several Ferocactus specimens from his collection, sometimes making my decision based on the description he provided with the cactus, or because of the fact he keeps meticulous records of his propagation efforts, assuring that the cactus is of the genus and species that is listed in the auction. The info on this particular cactus simply stated, “Ferocactus pottsii. Buy me, because every desert garden needs one.” It was quite a departure from his usual comprehensive description. I decided right then my garden needed this cactus.

F. pottsii is one of the rarer species in the Ferocactus genus, which contains about 30 species. It is one of the smaller barrels, takes full sun and needs very little water. Its flowers are pure yellow and bloom earlier than the other barrels in the Ferocactus genus. This cactus does not clump. Propagation is strictly by seed.

Since I acquired it, the F. pottsii has grown quickly, but still does not have the 20 distinctive narrow ribs that will appear as the cactus ages. Eventually it will reach three feet high and about half that wide. Its spines are finer and more needle-like than many of the other barrels.


Barbara said...

Yesterday I was thinking of you and your garden when visiting the Botanical Garden in Basel. Here I saw a lot of Cactus and Succulents (even outside the glass houses, which made me wonder!). Some of the plants I already saw in your older posts here.

Ginni Dee said...

Now there's a cactus with character! Good buy!


Julie said...

I love these with such big star-like needles...especially the ones with red you have any of those???