Hybrid opuntia ssp. It bloomed. Woke up this morning and was puttering around outside and almost fell over when seeing this flower.
Such a pleasant surprise
Isn't this a neat flower. The spines are very effective. If one even glances up against the plant that person will come away with dozens of embedded stickers. Literally. The debris that has collected on the segments is quite obvious. Sometimes I go out with tweezers to remove the garbage and feathers, but it is not worth the spines that embed deeply into my gloves. Takes longer to remove them than to delicately remove the debris.
My cactus garden this Spring is thriving yet most of the plants are not old enough for blooms this year. I planted the parent segments after I moved into this place probably around the Spring and Summer of 2015. My Echinopsis chamaecereus (peanut cactus) blooms. And my Mammillaria gracilis fragilis (thimble cactus) blooms. They are both older than two years. Have been thinking about cutting back the majority of new segments growing on the Hybrid opuntia (prickly pear) to allow the plant to save energy internally. After seeing the first blossom this afternoon, I don't think it wise to "force" the plant to bloom. Maybe trimming could encourage the cactus to bloom, although it won't be necessary.Below are some blooms on the peanut cactus.
These Echinopsis are fine examples of the genus. There are well over one hundred species of Echinopsis according to the Wikipedia article I referenced to research for this post. The peanut cactus is hardy and easy to work around. The article provided by Wikipedia for the species chamae cereus is still a stub (a short unfinished discussion). For instance, peanut cactus exhibits a property known as nyctinasty. This characteristic is used by highly developed plants. Scientists have not discovered the purpose of a flower folding closed at night, yet they understand the physical process of how the flower closes.
Mammillaria gracilis fragilis
This is thimble cactus to the right. It hasn't bloomed but will show small pastel yellow flowers soon enough. Checked the hybrid opuntia this afternoon and there appeared to be at least five blooms altogether. First thing in the morning I will capture an image. It is so very exciting to me... to have something that started so small blooming so soon. Will share an image of the excellent spine patterns protecting the thimble cactus. It is sooo awesome.
How awesome is that?? Would call it "starburst" which I think describes this quite well. Getting up close and personal with cactus is kind of neat because being so interesting one has to use caution to avoid getting spines embedded in your nose (speaking literally!)