Tuesday, May 13, 2008

They Just Keep Comin'

Opuntia santa-rita

The Santa-Rita Prickly Pear always has some purple coloring on the pads, which is pronounced in cold weather. The color gradually lightens as the weather warms. O. santa-rita blooms in May, and the pale yellow flowers beautifully complement the purple pads.
Mammillaria duoformis F. tenango de valle

The central spines on M. duoformis are dark brown and hooked. M. duoformis has several forms, and the tenango de valle is one of them. The one constant is that all M. duoformis forms have dark red flowers. However, some sources claim that the tenango de valle form has white flowers, and that was what I expected with this cactus. Now that it has bloomed for the first time, I don't know what to think. It's definitely an M. duoformis, so I guess that's good enough!

Many species of Mammillaria need light shade in Phoenix, so I have them planted under the dappled shade of the Palo Verde trees. It provides the perfect environment for protection in brutal summers, and offers some protection from frost. The downside is that most Mammillaria flower in late April/early May, just when the Palo Verde is in full bloom. The result is cacti covered with dried Palo Verde flowers, which are impossible to remove without using a blower. Even then, remnants remain for a couple of months. I tried to clean this one off for a decent photo, to no avail. The hooked central spines of the M. magnifica exacerbate the problem.


Mammillaria marksiana




The insignificant flowers of the M. marksiana (Cabeza de Viejo) take a back seat to the spirally arranged prominent tubercles that form a clear wheel-like pattern that seems to be moving when you stare at it. The wooly axils help guide the eye to its spiral shape. This is a great example of the symmetry of cacti.




10 comments:

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

That purple prickly pear is cool. I wonder if I can talk my sister how lives in NM into bringing me some.

Jean said...

Aiyana, As always your pictures are awesome. The yellow and purple combination is lovely! I so enjoy learning about your blooms. The last pic with the wheel like pattern is amazing! Thanks for joining today! Jean

Laurie & Chris said...

Love all your cacti pictures the flowers they get are so pretty! Happy Bloomin' Tuesday!

Suzanne said...

These photos are fabulous! I've never lived in the southwest, so it is so fun for me to "visit" your area. The blossoms on these plants are just beautiful.

Suzanne said...

I forgot! I answered your questions about my slide show in the "comments" under my Bloomin' Tuesday post on my blog... :o)

Cheryl said...

I could never be bored visiting your blog....I love these blooms the more I drop by. Cacti are going to be my winter project. I may be popping over then for advice.

Correy said...

Spectacular pics. I ate the prickly pear for the first time last year. Very nice.

Julie said...

Love the purple santa rita with yellow blooms...how cool is that???

Love the yellow flowers as a backdrop to the hooked cactus...gorgeous!

Love the wheeled patterned cactus...so amazing and wonderful!

Stuart said...

Mammillaria magnifica is a lovely plant; is yours big enough to have started offsetting around the base yet?

It'll be a good few weeks before my plant catches up with yours, I think...

Pudgeduck said...

I live the yellow bloom on the santa rita! I can't wait for mine to bloom.