June 6, 2010

Flowering Cacti from South America

Rebutia perplexa, an easy-to-grow, hyper blooming cacti for sunny windowsills. Just be certain to provide near-freexing temperatures during their bone dry winter period for good bloom.

While visiting the great Chelsea Flower Show a few years ago, I was taken by the magnificent displays of flowering cacti, all being grown in round bonsai pots. Since I despise poison green plastic pots, those displays have influenced how I now grow the few flowering cacti I keep. My collection blooms generally around the end of may, until the end of June, here are a few pics from this week.

It was a discovery for me, when I first started growing cacti, that many of the most beautiful flowering forms come from South America. I was also reminded about the fact that Cacti come from the new world, (the Americas) and Euphobia come from the old world ( Africa, Europe). An easy way to organize the basics, and always impressive cocktail chat.
Lobivia arachnachantha

I never had great bloom on my cacti until I was able to grow them under open glass, where they can get full sun year round, and winter temperatures near freezing, which seems to trigger the formation of more flower buds.

The same Lobivia arachnachantha ( named for the spider-like spines)  when starting to open in the mid-morning sun.

Lost the tag on this, it may be an Echinocereus or a large, white Rebutia. PRobably an eBay purchase, this photo was taken late on the day, Friday when I arrived home from work. I was stretching on the deck after a run, and I could see the large white, droopy flower in the greenhouse. Obviously, I missed this one, and I will need to wait until next year to see it in bloom again. Often lasting only a day, I forgot to check the greenhouse to see what might be in bloom the day before. Last weekend, I started watering all of the cacti for the first time this summer, and the flower buds which had been forming, were small and still fuzzy.

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