Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Divine Color


Isn't this the most divine color? The first time I saw a photo of an Echinopsis 'Flying Saucer', I set out to find one. For several years, I checked at cactus shows and sales, cactus nurseries, and even some mail order places. This is not an uncommon Echinopsis hybrid, but there just weren't any available. Last fall, while visiting a nursery I frequent, I found one in the damaged cactus section. It had a sun scorched area, and although it had a two foot stem, it had been sideways for quite a while, so the stem couldn't be straightened if the pot was set upright. Also, it had long since passed the point of needing a bigger pot. This two foot long cactus was in a six-inch pot!

Since I couldn't pick it up myself, I asked the nurseryman to load it in my vehicle. It took two guys to get it in a box--one to pick up the pot, the other to support the stem with a length of plant tape. Once in the box, it could be loaded by holding onto the box and the keeping the stem supported with the tape. Once it was home, unloading it was easy, but I didn't plant it right away. I left it in the box, tilted, and let the stem lean against a wall. This is where it stayed until early spring. When I was ready to plant, the stem had started growing upward at the tip, but I knew most of the stem was just never going to straighten. I didn't mind that, as long as the new growth would continue to grow upright.
Once it was planted, we had several really hot days, and thinking it had acclimated to full sun, I did not put shade cloth on it. Unfortunately, it received more sun scorch, but it didn't appear to be permanently damaged, so I belatedly covered it. In mid-May, it formed two buds, and on Saturday they opened.




Rebutia pulvinosa


I counted 31 flowers that had opened on this cactus, and 11 buds yet to open. The little daisy-like flowers are such an intense shade of true orange that details just don't show up in the photo. The lighter green stems on this Rebutia species are also attractive--not so with the stems on the Rebutia species below. The stems are an olive color that I just don't care for much.



Rebutia spegazziniana



My Sunday post was about the color of these flowers. I should have waited an extra day. Now, there are 20 of the variegated pink flowers to look at!

17 comments:

Grammy said...

Hi Aiyana, That is an amazing story. I would love to see more photos of it. Is the striped part the bent cactus ? Sorry my vision is still not a 100%. I would love to see it with out the flower too.
I love all your blooms. Cactus was my fist plant of choice when I was 17 years old. But I had a dog who destroyed them back then. So I gave up. Have a great week.

Claude said...

That cactus has certainly had quite an experience, hasn't it? Sometimes, I don't mind if cactus don't look perfect... they bloom anyway, and they remind me that even if we're not perfect, we are still capable of beautiful things... (getting phillosophic in my old age, ain't I?)

The rebutias are both fantastic of course.

Darla said...

I will not say it, "Your Cactus Plants amaze me!"

kate smudges said...

The flowers of the Flying Saucer are gorgeous. Reading about the condition of the cactus when you found it made the blooming all the more wonderful. The orange flowers of the Rebutia are such a lovely colour. So are the pink ones. There are so many of them!

Carla said...

Just how many cactus do you have? I'm so loving seeing these amazing blooms each Tuesday! Wow! That first one? Double WOW!!

Sherrie said...

HI!
They are all beautiful!! I really like that orange one, so vibrant a color! Have a great day!!

Sherrie

Elena said...

Wow, your cactus blooms are beautiful. They are such amazing plants!

Jean said...

What a cool stary! You were that plants savior and it is definately repaying you! The color is amazing! I can't imagine all those blooms on one little cactus. Great post, Aiyana! Jean

Tracey said...

Amazing! I never knew a cactus could have so many blooms!

perennialgardener said...

I'm sure your 'Flying Saucer' will recover in time with your care and attention. The blooms are a great sign of what's to come for it. :) The colors of those blooms are so striking!

beckie said...

Poor little cactus, it surley knows by the blooms it has given you taht it has a great home now. The orange is gorgeous and I don't blame you for seeking it out. Also the varigated blooms are spectacular. Thanks for such showing such great colors.

chigiy at Gardeners Anonymous said...

Aren't they beautiful.
You are quite the cactus whisperer my friend. The first photo of blooms are so gorgeous they look fake. They look like some giant perfect paper flowers.
Just gorgeous.

Teresa said...

Amazing must be the word of the day. But that is all I could think when looking at your blooms. They are always amazing. And from cactus! Who knew?

You did.

~~Rhonda said...

Aiyana, the 'Flying Saucer' is gorgeous! Such beautiful flowers. And the cactus covered in blossoms...how pretty is that! Thanks for sharing your blooms. ~~Rhonda

Julie said...

Hi Aiyana!!! Good to be back!!!

What stunners these cactus are with their gorgeous blooms! You are the best cactus gardener in the whole wide world, girl!!!

I like what Claude said here about the imperfect ones! They are the most fun to have and nurse back to health and see what the future holds for them...it is really great when they respond like yours here...amazingly well!

Weeping Sore said...

Hope your amazing green thumb isn't too full of nasty thorns. You have demonstrated that you have not only the skill but the courage to grow such beautifully dangerous plants. Perhaps I'm just an unsteady duffer who can't learn to keep my garden gloves on. Thanks for sharing.

Muum said...

what a gorgeous color, and a great story, to boot!