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.
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.
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!