Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Oddities

The recent rains have stimulated several cacti to produce buds, so in a week or so, I'll have some more cactus flowers. The extremely fast-growing buds of the Argentine Giant (Echinopsis candicans) will grow to about six to eight inches long, before the end of this week.
These little hairy buds on this Golden Torch Cereus (Echinopsis spachiana) take a bit longer to form, and they are interesting to look at. They remind me of rabbit tails. I have my doubts as to the identity of this cactus. It was labeled Golden Torch Cereus, but the characteristics don't match up to most I've seen. Until I find out for sure, it will remain a Golden Torch.There have never been flower buds on this segmented Paper Spine Cactus (Tephrocactus articulatus var. papyracanthus) but when they come they will be small, and a pale yellow or off-white color. Most collectors grow this cactus for the unusual, harmless spines, not the flowers. The segmented portions easily fall off, and if left where they fall, they will start growing. The only water this cactus receives is rain water.

Unlike many desert gardeners, I leave the long stalks on the Red Yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora) long after the flowers are gone. The interesting seedpods slowly harden, split open and spill hundreds of black seeds out of the four sections. The seeds are stacked in each pod like Pringles®. To see the seeds, see a previous post.










13 comments:

Claude said...

Waiting for those buds to open...

I have a paperspine cactus here, One of the few species that I've ever had to worry about overwatering... almost lost the plant during an unusually wet spring a few years back, they really are very touchy about too much water. Those spines look fierce, but are almost completely harmless... great little plants...

Suzy said...

Thanks for stoppin' by...I find your blog very interesting,I know nothing about growing cactus!
I also read your previous post and your yard is just beautiful!!

Nancy said...

Hi Aiyana,
I just discovered your blog and am so delighted to find such a terrific site with information and pictures of gardening in the Phoenix area. As I am sure you are well aware, most of the gardening information on the Internet is not suitable for the desert.
Please keep up the great work. It makes my day!
This is my first blogging experience, so I hope I have done it correctly.
Nancy in Sun Lakes

Dee said...

You always have something unique and wonderful to pull out of your garden- The hairy little buds are so cute- I've got to watch for one of these at the nursery- regardless of what it is labeled!

Julie said...

Hi Aiyana! What great photos and info today!!! I can't believe how fast the buds on the Argentine Giant grow! They sure are pretty even at this stage!
Those little puffs on the Golden Torch, really does look like torches! What else could it possibly be called??? LOL.
The Paper Spine Cactus is really neat!!!
I wanted to ask you if the grafted Moon cactuses can make it in full sun there? I was wondering if I could move mine from screenporch to my tires. What do you think??? It will be less than 100 degrees here all summer. In the high 90's generally.

verobirdie said...

You're sure the paper spine cactus is harmless ?:-) looks very scary to me :-)
All those pictures are beautiful. Thanks for sharing them and giving so much information

Jean said...

Aiyana, The buds are as interesting as the flowers! Can't wait to see the blooms. I'm glad you got some rain. I moved your name on the BT list because the link was to last weeks post. It's all fixed now. Happy Tuesday! Jean

Anne Fannie said...

Hi Aiyana, I love your desert plants! I live in California but I have a vacation home in Arizona on the Colorado River in Parker. NOTHING grows there, maybe I should try some of your plants!
Ann

Suzanne said...

Just the other day I had a bad hair day that looking strikingly similar to the hairy buds on the Golden Torch Cereus! It's scary enough when you see it on a cactus, but, trust me it's even worse when you see it in the mirror!

Gretchen said...

What a great shot!

Teri C said...

These are great choices and I love looking at them and learning from you.

-AG- said...

Hey Aiyana,

How is the mesquite tree that blew over? Were you able to save it? I've only ever had a problem with one mesquite I had. It really surprised me because it was very slow growing, sturdy, and well proportionate. I loved it and it was a perfect tree and then one day I came home from work on a calm not even breezy day last July and it had split in half. My trees always split rather than fall. I replaced my no longer exsistant Palo Verde on Saturday with a Tipu tree. I am going to try and post on it tonight or tomorrow. I went to Star Nursery and bought a 15 gallon one that was the same size as their largest 24" box and only paid 38 dollars for it. I hope that it does well. It is a pretty tree and just as the lady (her name is Sue) at Star said it really compliments my Sissoo and Elm trees in the backyard. Best of luck and thank you for all of your support!

-Andrew-

kate smudges said...

I love those seed pods ... they remind me somewhat of Nigella seed pods. I have a Paper Spine Cactus, but it doesn't grow much and looks rather sad. I think it gets too much water (i.e. too much rain).