Friday, February 27, 2009

Back to the plants...

Well, it's definitely time to get back to the prickly plants on this blog... Spring is here, within a few weeks there will be not even the remote chance of a frost. The first pic is of three different prickly pears... the two that are in the same post were started as single pads, and have grown up to the point that this spring or early summer, I'll probably separate them. The purple one, by the way, is not a Santa Rita... it's O. gossiliana, a plant that is often sold as Santa Rita... It did turn purple with the winter cold, but the pads are usually silvery gray. The new growth is even darker purple which fades to green... which I'm told is the primary way to separate the species. On a Santa Rita - the growth starts out green and turns purple after it grows up. It doesn't really matter, I like the thing anyway...
These next two were planted outside on March 30, 2008 - here's the link to the original post when that happened, so that you can see they've definitely grown in almost a year...
The first is an Echinocactus texensis, common name of Texas Horse Crippler. (How it got that name is in the above post, so I'm not gonna repeat it here.) Of course, if you look at the tag, it says Texas Lace Cactus. I think that's supposed to be a politically correct 'nice' name. I've never heard it before I saw it on this tag thought... It's about doubled in size, but it's still probably not big enough to bloom...

The next plant, I was afraid I was gonna lose this winter. Mammillaria sonorensis v. craigii... misidentified in the above post as a M. meiacantha... The thing is, this species isn't supposed to survive our winters here... All the references I checked say it's not hardy above zone 9 and I'm on the line between zone 7 & zone 8. Here's a link that shows this plant covered with ice this winter...
Well, not only did it survive, if you look close, you can see flower buds beginning to emerge.
So, it looks like I'll have some pics for you... I've never been able to predict blooms on Mamms though. Sometime it'll look like another week before they open, and they'll explode the next day. Other times I practically wait for a full bud to open and it'll take a week. Kind of annoying... but I'll keep my eyes open for pics.


  1. I love the O. gossiliana. My Santa Rita had only one purple pad! Your cacti are looking better than mine!! I fertilized all mine yesterday-maybe some blooms soon?

  2. I'm hoping that the Santa-Rita wanna-be blooms this year... It's never been big enough to bloom before. The purple is only on one side of the pads... The southern side, guess because of the way the sun hits it or something.

  3. That Horse Crippler really looks like one cactus I have, but it is different. I LOVE your purple prickly pear! Gorgeous!!! Beautiful post...can't wait till the Mammilaria blooms!!!

  4. Hello Claude
    your cactus are beautiful and healthy and nice stone covered them.
    Nice day.