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'Tis the season ..for Cactus Blooms 2019, Pt. 1 ..Spring Openers.

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 As more mid-spring heat starts creeping in, and what color from earlier on fades out, dries out, and goes to seed, the various cacti planted in the yard and in my collection take center stage. While those which will flower soon enough are busy forming buds,  Others are busy showing off, and attraction lots of attention from the bees.  Looks like some i have that haven't flowered for me yet, or didn't flower last year may add to this year's show. 

For now, couple Prickly Pears, a Hedgehog first and a strange oddity among Cacti..

Opuntia X "Pina Colada"  While not as *User friendly* as O. basilaris, Beavertail P.P. slightly larger Flowers on this cross start out a hazy Yellow and eventually fade to light Pink before closing. Plant itself sprawls more than it gains height. Pretty easy to keep under control / out from areas you don't want it to grow, just use Tongs when trimming back.. 

Opuntia X " Grand Mesa Peach" Same idea as Pina Colada except a bit bore spines and slightly more vertical growing. Flowers on this specimen were somewhat weak this year, opening while not fully formed. Camera seems to add more pink than what you'd see in person ( generally a more Orange hue ) Flower color doesn't change through it's life cycle. Same prickly i couldn't remember the ID on earlier.

Echinocereus ..not quite sure. Pretty sure its one of the species sometimes called "Straw pile Hedgehog". Could also be a cross. Regardless, first year it decided to flower. Nice color combo as well. Looks like it has functional male and female parts so pollination / seed is possible.

Setiechinopsis mirabilis ( **formally, and still sometimes sold as Echinopsis mirabilis ) Neat little Cacti i'd noticed has been stocked extensively in the Big Box store succulent section lately..  from Argentina and growing below / hidden in taller bushes. Fragrant Nocturnal flowers are produced ( uh, supposed to be... ) in Summer. Mine are a *bit* early.  Weirdest thing about the species is it's lifespan. Supposedly short-lived, and is recommended to be replaced / have new seedlings up and going after 2-3 years. Luckily, said to be self fertile and produce lots of seed..  "Short lived" isn't something i'd think of when Cacti come to mind.. If only it would open at the same time as some of my Echinopsis ( frilly-petaled hybrids?? )

Before sunset:

After dark:

More to come soon...


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 Couple pics from today:

Interesting reversal of color succession on Opuntia X "Pina Colada" ..Opening Pink instead of Yellow and did not change much through the day ( see 1st post above ). Cooler temps yesterday / today ( ..only 75F today,  vs. 97F Mon. / Tues. ) might be a factor.  Flowers  stayed open longer through the day as well.

Echinocereus reichenbachii var. albispinus showing off. Big flower, tiny cactus.. Smallest of all the Hedgehog sp. i have.

Astrophytum myriostigma.

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Back to the usual, flowers open yellow on Opuntia X "Pina Colada" at peak bloom.  While easy to find once back in CA, harvesting pads off this specimen.

Shy-er flowering / slower to fill out Beaver tail, O. basilaris. Notice the flowers are more open / flatter-faced on this particular specimen than the other that flowered earlier ( pictured toward the end of the Heralds of Spring thread ) Pads are larger as well.

Echinocereus sheeri var. gentryi ( or so labeled when purchased ) opening around sunrise, than closing through the day, than opening for a short while right around sunset.. before closing up again.  Intrigued.  Bright, dark Fire Orange E. sheeri variety budding up atm next to it ( not pictured )

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Pretty sweet ..Easter Morning treat, Maybe another to share by sunset..

Trichocereus  X "Volcanic Sunset"   Sits out on a mound closest to the edge of the yard. Wasn't sure if it would make it past last summer but plumped up / put on good new  growth following our wetter winter.. More / bigger / better formed flowers on it this year too.  First of the Tricho / Echinopsis to bloom this year.. Great color..

Just after opening, around 7:30AM

'Bout a half hour ago:

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