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Obsessed with opuntias


teddytn

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Native to 45 of of 50 states that’s amazing in itself there being such diverse climates, zones and soil in the states. Food staple planted worldwide where other plants struggle opuntia in all its forms thrive. Tough, edible, easy to propagate all awesome. Did we mention the flowers yet?!?! Haven’t seen a blue flower on an opuntia yet, but other than that pick a color or combination and you can find it. Just amazing. Let’s see ‘em!!!!!

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4 new ones I got for Christmas! Someone mentioned all opuntias look the same…hmm lol, look pretty different to me lol.BF526550-1F92-462D-AFD9-A033C899D86A.thumb.jpeg.f6e5a22c5a551603401788ddb28e66b6.jpeg403F8B6D-78E2-4073-AB94-8DA30074935C.thumb.jpeg.7c95c407373e842ae67c1f379a0530fc.jpeg66662C54-1FDF-469A-BB95-73A178839F08.thumb.jpeg.5b1a5f095d8195e41dc7100d517ba2c0.jpegE5F06E58-2B52-49E8-9020-E5BAC4BE43C2.thumb.jpeg.5adfd70516af9ca695818f602fcd639e.jpegCan’t wait to get these planted and see what they do

 

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You better get well below zero F to test these species. 
Cylindropuntia imbricata, this almost 7 years from one segment, hasn’t flowered yet.940AC09F-091F-4BA9-B2BE-C777CED0B9EB.thumb.jpeg.c82b721172075d5e2595e763c7f2e83b.jpegThis opuntia is tough as nails huge dinner plate pads. Funny story, I got this as a single pad when I was in the Army as payment. Gave this down on his luck private a ride home he insisted he gave me something but had no money so I asked for a piece of the cactus growing in his front yard. Hell of a deal to me lol. I’ve had trouble narrowing down exactly what this is since it will get 5 feet tall before it topples over gains some new ground as starts growing vertical again. I’m pretty sure this is opuntia engelmannii var. lindheimeri 6BCB544C-316A-4916-94F7-2995087676B3.thumb.jpeg.a4c703e89d3da04ebce72f11c1d60c30.jpegThere it is in flower6DB1B8A9-4F55-4F9D-B696-483EA7C94A36.thumb.jpeg.6a25d381763af0920f9c7abcd778e61a.jpeg26AFCC75-F564-4A6E-8744-7B49F71BAAA3.thumb.jpeg.a4fda2e326c8f45fa0af0de82ec06bdf.jpegCylindropuntia spinosiorD87E350F-8D5D-4726-AACB-F3579B3B66AC.thumb.jpeg.d840c529755e2150db94d83448e62c48.jpegAnother imbricata, I walked past this and a bunch of other cactus at a local nursery I go to for must have been 3 years. It sat in a pot on an outdoor bench year round untouched un watered. I put it in the ground last spring and it doubled in size in a matter of months CDA00761-C0A5-46AB-99CC-C69058678788.thumb.jpeg.7204caa18b2e6663a0cc1e4d2ea51e9f.jpegOpuntia basilaris, this should put on a few pads this spring. 04EC6CFA-2693-472E-B0E9-3444DEF8A985.thumb.jpeg.617dbf50def0a5757a57096c593be803.jpeg

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Probably the most unique of the " Prickly Pears " .. Opuntia sulphurea  ..Very easy to grow too ..but have noticed it does like to " shatter " ( Pads break off a bit easily ) when larger, and has been shy flowering.  Started w/ one plant, and now have several.   None of those stabby / hard to remove fiber glass - like glochids either.. My personal fav. sp.

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I just planted this on a very steep slope a couple or few years ago. It is called opuntia cacanapas. It is supposedly hardy only to about zero degrees so barely hardy here in a weak zone 7a. I did not amend the soil with anything. I just placed the pad in the soil. This hill is very steep so water is not able to stay very long in the soil due to gravity. Here is it after the about 7 degree low with snow we had the other day. I also have opuntia lindheimeri which is even less hardy. No protection for the 7 degree low also other than a couple plastic panels over them to keep moisture off of them. They survived with no damage also. I also have the really hardy opuntia which I ended up just leaving in a wooden planter. They are so hardy I figured the loss of cold hardiness of them being in a planter wouldn't matter. Here is the cacanapas and lindheimeri under plastic panels. Also some sabal minor which were unaffected by the snow and cold even with planting them just not long ago in the middle of winter. 

I see you have lindheimeri as well. Very nice specimens you have that I will have to give a try. Cacti really are tough. They just like to be dry it seems mostly. I did have to amend the soil for the lindheimeri. Cacti will rot in no time here on flat ground if I don't make sure to make it well draining. A rabbit or deer or something took a bite out of the cacanapas a while back! Sadly it does not have spines to protect it that I know of. Still looks cool though. I usually prefer spines on my cacti but I still wanted to try this one.

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Edited by maskedmole
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Lowest lows per year 2007-2019: 7F,  5F0F7F3.9F14F14F, -8.9F, 0.1F, 7.2F, 1.2F, -0.8F, 10.2F..... Averaged: 4.6F

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5 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Probably the most unique of the " Prickly Pears " .. Opuntia sulphurea  ..Very easy to grow too ..but have noticed it does like to " shatter " ( Pads break off a bit easily ) when larger, and has been shy flowering.  Started w/ one plant, and now have several.   None of those stabby / hard to remove fiber glass - like glochids either.. My personal fav. sp.

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That is super cool, I can see why it’s a fav 

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Opuntia lowes clearance, lol, not sure of the species. Not cold hardy if I had to guess1CFD92F5-5553-4ADF-890B-4DC2C2DF1823.thumb.jpeg.f684db79b466e110ef1052365a37b7e9.jpegI removed a decent size patch I started from a pad off the lindhermani, there were a few of these smaller sized plants growing under it, maybe garden hybrid if sprouted from seed. Going to plant it out this spring we’ll see if it stays smallAA901EEB-22A2-4581-8565-B9BE6C8FD144.thumb.jpeg.8eb525c640eaf5d9881b2e9651c39478.jpegThis is one of those been potted for so long the nursery tag rotted off, ugly plants that no one would buy, discount to $5 I’ll buy it lol. We’ll see what it looks like after a few seasons in the ground. F957A055-DA5B-4D74-B2A7-2FB5ED4818CA.thumb.jpeg.959713d3ecadc7601765bc51008fbd12.jpegOpuntia engelmannii linguiformis, I always wanted this but thought it wasn’t hardy here. This came off a huge patch that an old lady thinks she planted some time in the 1980’s here in Tennessee. Can’t wait to get this in the groundF8D1ECFB-8ADE-4242-A559-B4219FDCEC7C.thumb.jpeg.f00cfcd58abddfd5d56bacee7983511d.jpegOpuntia consolea falcata, Caribbean tree cactus. 52A5278F-4FCE-4706-8F81-F95AFB822FA1.thumb.jpeg.f9e76b9c508ca40dcc87cffe560c8b8d.jpeg

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5 hours ago, teddytn said:

That is super cool, I can see why it’s a fav 

Have extra cuttings / pads if you want to try one ..also, going to be separating some seedling Hedgehogs ( Echinocerus )  in the next month or two.. Don't mind sending a couple your way to play with, if interested.

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54 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Have extra cuttings / pads if you want to try one ..also, going to be separating some seedling Hedgehogs ( Echinocerus )  in the next month or two.. Don't mind sending a couple your way to play with, if interested.

Very interested! That just reminded me, forgot you had agaves going from seed, any luck? 

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26 minutes ago, teddytn said:

Very interested! That just reminded me, forgot you had agaves going from seed, any luck? 

:greenthumb: 

The two that germinated earlier are good.. Not much change since i posted the last pictures though.. Nothing yet from the rest of that batch..

Now that were closing in on the end of ..ahem, " winter " here, they should start moving..  Esp. since all seedling stuff is under makeshift greenhouses on the sunniest side of the yard right now.

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18 hours ago, teddytn said:

Native to 45 of of 50 states that’s amazing in itself there being such diverse climates, zones and soil in the states. Food staple planted worldwide where other plants struggle opuntia in all its forms thrive. Tough, edible, easy to propagate all awesome. Did we mention the flowers yet?!?! Haven’t seen a blue flower on an opuntia yet, but other than that pick a color or combination and you can find it. Just amazing. Let’s see ‘em!!!!!

Wow 45/50? what are the 5 without them? Let's see, Alaska, Hawaii are top prospects, next maybe Maine? 

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Corpus Christi, TX, near salt water, zone 9b/10a! Except when it isn't and everything gets nuked.

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29 minutes ago, Xerarch said:

Wow 45/50? what are the 5 without them? Let's see, Alaska, Hawaii are top prospects, next maybe Maine? 

Had to search a little bit lol

https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/plant-of-the-week/opuntia_humifusa.shtml
E32BFE87-4C22-4F02-8455-914D21BA653D.thumb.png.b270752e8c84fe3bcdb79271105fe7b6.pngAll of those western states have opuntias I’m pretty sure, just not humifusa. Looks like Maine, Vermont, maybe Rhode Island, Alaska, Hawaii? Best guess. Lol

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19 minutes ago, teddytn said:

Had to search a little bit lol

https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/plant-of-the-week/opuntia_humifusa.shtml
E32BFE87-4C22-4F02-8455-914D21BA653D.thumb.png.b270752e8c84fe3bcdb79271105fe7b6.pngAll of those western states have opuntias I’m pretty sure, just not humifusa. Looks like Maine, Vermont, maybe Rhode Island, Alaska, Hawaii? Best guess. Lol

Every state in the Southwest has ..at least one sp. of native Opuntia.  ..Minus O. humifusa, - at least here in AZ. 

Even better map of distribution, both native and where grown / observed:    https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/47902-Opuntia

 

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54 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Every state in the Southwest has ..at least one sp. of native Opuntia.  ..Minus O. humifusa, - at least here in AZ. 

Even better map of distribution, both native and where grown / observed:    https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/47902-Opuntia

 

I always forget about inaturalist, I have to learn it. I had trouble navigating the first few times

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28 minutes ago, teddytn said:

I always forget about inaturalist, I have to learn it. I had trouble navigating the first few times

Easiest way i found to get around some of the not so easy to navigate parts of the site is to do random web searches, IE: " Opuntia azurea iNaturalist "  or, using a common name, " American Oystercatcher iNaturalist "   then proceed to look through observations that appear when the first page opens ( usually the " map " section.. < but not always > )  Zeroing on specific areas if looking in depth at observations..  Has guided me to where many hard to find plants in X location(s) could be seen w/ my own eyes numerous times. Have seen many things not currently documented in / or just outside the documented area on their data base also..

The only caveat w/ some iNat data is the site doesn't always do the best job of weeding out " bad " identification observations. Plants especially  ..IE:  Suggesting Bursera simarubra ( Gumbo Limbo ) is growing in Los Angeles ..when the plant observed is a Walnut ( Juglans )..   Some people don't always follow the posting rules there, or post an observation from a location that wasn't where the plant / animal was actually observed..  Have seen a bad observation sit for awhile before either being ignored or corrected.  In some cases, observation locations are hidden on purpose to keep those who might use the data to go dig up something endangered from doing so.
 

That said, most observations are on target.. Though, w/ Cacti, Agave, Yucca ..and some other things..,  there can be naturally occurring hybrids that exhibit traits of both parents, that throws off 100% flawless ID's. 

Not perfect, but pretty darn close.. and great for a site where new observations are always added. Beats relying solely on a field guide that might ( or might not ) get updated frequently enough. 

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2 hours ago, Meangreen94z said:

A few pictures of species in Central and South West Texas

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I swear you and @Silas_Sancona have the best habitat pics on this site period. Honestly thank you for that! Google image search can only get a guy so far lol. 

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11 minutes ago, teddytn said:

I swear you and @Silas_Sancona have the best habitat pics on this site period. Honestly thank you for that! Google image search can only get a guy so far lol. 

Thanks 

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37 minutes ago, teddytn said:

I swear you and @Silas_Sancona have the best habitat pics on this site period. Honestly thank you for that! Google image search can only get a guy so far lol. 

:greenthumb::greenthumb:

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Fav. " Prickly " Bloomers:

Opuntia X " Ohio " #1 ..Hands down. Cutting it up this year to get more going.


DSC07851.thumb.JPG.6108793c43b9a114fd12b6cdef0a92d7.JPG

Opuntia X " Pina Colada ".. Sometimes they're pink, sometimes yellow, or both... Sometimes, they're something in between..

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Opuntia.. ...likely O. engelmanii..  Very common in landscapes around here.. Orange flowers are a perfect opening to the hot months ahead in spring..

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Opuntia(s) < ..ahem, lol ..Opunt-ei >  azurea and macrocentra.. Look similar to many, but have some distinct differences up close.. Regardless, flowers look similar between the two, and are very attention getting.. esp. clones where the red / magenta " eye shine " near the center is very pronounced / bright.

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...And, of course,  ...dependable 'ol  basilaris..   Can't start another year of..  " Prickly Pear Season "   w/ out it..

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Wow those are striking, especially that basilaris, I've always said that cactus have some of the best blooms of any plant, just don't blink or you'll miss them.

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Corpus Christi, TX, near salt water, zone 9b/10a! Except when it isn't and everything gets nuked.

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@Silas_Sancona you weren’t over exaggerating about the ‘Ohio’ just wow!! Those dual color blooming opuntias are hard for me to wrap my head around, I’ll end up having a big portion of what coldhardycactus has for sale. He has some amazing hybrids. I’ll plug for them! Lol. Anyone reading this that likes opuntias check out coldhardycactus.com. Agaves and yuccas are small but healthy, opuntia selection is hard to beat. 

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56 minutes ago, teddytn said:

@Silas_Sancona you weren’t over exaggerating about the ‘Ohio’ just wow!! Those dual color blooming opuntias are hard for me to wrap my head around, I’ll end up having a big portion of what coldhardycactus has for sale. He has some amazing hybrids. I’ll plug for them! Lol. Anyone reading this that likes opuntias check out coldhardycactus.com. Agaves and yuccas are small but healthy, opuntia selection is hard to beat. 

There's another source for some of the exceptionally - flowered Opuntia sp. / hybrids / cultivars ( ..and  Echinocereus ) out in Colorado  ..but don't know what the deal is w/ them atm..  their site works sometimes, but disappears / link to it is broken / isn't accessible fairly often.. Kind of frustrating, esp. when looking to see what new stuff might be offered.

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9 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Fav. " Prickly " Bloomers:

Opuntia X " Ohio " #1 ..Hands down. Cutting it up this year to get more going.


DSC07851.thumb.JPG.6108793c43b9a114fd12b6cdef0a92d7.JPG

Opuntia X " Pina Colada ".. Sometimes they're pink, sometimes yellow, or both... Sometimes, they're something in between..

DSC07450.thumb.JPG.c492237ebe9d13b06f4c36e70cdbfe26.JPG

DSCN5697.thumb.JPG.166515aa876f618e7df3b1c01d6f43df.JPG

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DSC07709.thumb.JPG.db12447cf242a5f3fb1676e663601256.JPG


Opuntia.. ...likely O. engelmanii..  Very common in landscapes around here.. Orange flowers are a perfect opening to the hot months ahead in spring..

DSC01661.thumb.JPG.86da5217732d1b6605f2f8d088c35f17.JPG

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DSC01663.thumb.JPG.72e22865859f45b5a0684736dbc66cff.JPG

Opuntia(s) < ..ahem, lol ..Opunt-ei >  azurea and macrocentra.. Look similar to many, but have some distinct differences up close.. Regardless, flowers look similar between the two, and are very attention getting.. esp. clones where the red / magenta " eye shine " near the center is very pronounced / bright.

DSCN5805.thumb.JPG.d9e0adea81fa3e6bffe4e39e0fbce49b.JPG

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...And, of course,  ...dependable 'ol  basilaris..   Can't start another year of..  " Prickly Pear Season "   w/ out it..

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Incredible basilaris! Mine has been shaded out recently so I need to move it to a sunnier spot or risk losing it to rot. 

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2 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

There's another source for some of the exceptionally - flowered Opuntia sp. / hybrids / cultivars ( ..and  Echinocereus ) out in Colorado  ..but don't know what the deal is w/ them atm..  their site works sometimes, but disappears / link to it is broken / isn't accessible fairly often.. Kind of frustrating, esp. when looking to see what new stuff might be offered.

Stoney Creek Cacti? I contacted the owner Jeff through Facebook and the way he said it is he’s done operating any kind of business front. I think it was a full time business for years, he retired, then he and his wife operated it as a small time internet business. After this Covid mess it looks like they are finished. He still posts pictures of his collection on Facebook, and may still sell to local cactus and succulent society members.

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Another for people in cold climates is Ethical Desert. You have to constantly monitor his website, because the inventory can be updated and depleted quickly. 

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14 minutes ago, Meangreen94z said:

Stoney Creek Cacti? I contacted the owner Jeff through Facebook and the way he said it is he’s done operating any kind of business front. I think it was a full time business for years, he retired, then he and his wife operated it as a small time internet business. After this Covid mess it looks like they are finished. He still posts pictures of his collection on Facebook, and may still sell to local cactus and succulent society members.

:greenthumb:

Ah, i figured something happened after dealing w/ last year's nightmare.. Bummer, but good Jeff is still open to selling and posting pictures. Someone else sells seed from some of his crosses as well.

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2 hours ago, Josue Diaz said:

Incredible basilaris! Mine has been shaded out recently so I need to move it to a sunnier spot or risk losing it to rot. 

They'll take some shade ( and look a tad better with a little too when it is over 100 and bone dry for weeks on end ).. One of mine at the old house was over topped by grass / Poppies spring of 2020, and again last summer.. Didn't seem to hurt it, but tried to keep the other stuff from completely hiding it as best as i could ( almost impossible last summer ).  gravely, well drained soil seems to be the more important factor for keeping any rot issues from popping up, though i've has a few in pots where a pad or two would randomly shrivel -for whatever reason-.  Weirdo plants, haha..

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12 minutes ago, Meangreen94z said:

Another for people in cold climates is Ethical Desert. You have to constantly monitor his website, because the inventory can be updated and depleted quickly. 

I was looking around on their website the other day, almost bit on an agave. I like they have a good selection of other drought tolerant plants. Have you ordered from him before?

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17 hours ago, teddytn said:

I was looking around on their website the other day, almost bit on an agave. I like they have a good selection of other drought tolerant plants. Have you ordered from him before?

Yes. He responds and ships quickly. It doesn’t look like he will have a winter update, but definitely check back in the spring. He has some great stuff that will go quickly, his inventory varies.
    The only thing to watch is he’s in a dry cold environment, so his hardiness figures aren’t going to match a wet cold environment. Like the weather Tennessee might see. Some of the ratings he has on aloes I can’t even come close to, as far as seeing damage/survival. 

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7 hours ago, Meangreen94z said:

Yes. He responds and ships quickly. It doesn’t look like he will have a winter update, but definitely check back in the spring. He has some great stuff that will go quickly, his inventory varies.
    The only thing to watch is he’s in a dry cold environment, so his hardiness figures aren’t going to match a wet cold environment. Like the weather Tennessee might see. Some of the ratings he has on aloes I can’t even come close to, as far as seeing damage/survival. 

Red clay soil and almost 60” of precip. a year  and single digits in winter is a terrible recipe for cactus and succulents. Raised bed filled with gravel/ sand hasn’t had any loses yet this winter, knock on wood. Currently working on a gravel berm for some new cactus and agave I hope to plant in spring. No sure bets here though that’s for sure

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Nathan, thanks for posting those beautiful cactus flowers. I was born and raised in Albuquerque and during my college days, before palms, had an extensive cacti collection. I used to make treks to Tucson to pick up specimens, certified of course, and drag them back home. I’ll never forget just how heavy an 18” tall Saguaro can be.

Being a ‘plant’ person, I’m equally at home living in a tropical rain forest or an arid desert. I must have been a plant in another life. 

Tim  

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Tim

Hilo, Hawaii

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49 minutes ago, realarch said:

Nathan, thanks for posting those beautiful cactus flowers. I was born and raised in Albuquerque and during my college days, before palms, had an extensive cacti collection. I used to make treks to Tucson to pick up specimens, certified of course, and drag them back home. I’ll never forget just how heavy an 18” tall Saguaro can be.

Being a ‘plant’ person, I’m equally at home living in a tropical rain forest or an arid desert. I must have been a plant in another life. 

Tim  

Appreciate the :greenthumb: Tim.. Think i too was either a plant, or are picking up where i left off in another life spent avidly researching / searching for them.. 

Always interesting how what is in / or the focus of  someone's plant collection(s) can change, sometimes by quite a bit, over the course of time, and depending on where they might live / have lived - at any given time-.. Never expected i'd find a place for any Prickly Pears in my own..  As a kid back in San Jose, had a strong dislike of some cacti, Opuntia and Cholla esp.. ( grandparents on my mom's side had some really nasty ones growing in a bed in their yard.. Always ended up removing " many " painful spines when playing anywhere near them )  but always liked others like Echinopsis / Trichocereus ( Torch and " Easter Lily " - type Cacti ) growing next to the nasty ones   ...While being surrounded by things like Plumeria, Orchids, Gingers, Bird of Paradise... and whatever else was brought back from Hawaii and/ or grown by relatives on another side of the family at the same time.

While the selection of palms, ..and most Orchids ( exposed outdoors to the elements all year here anyway ) that can be grown here is far more limited compared to the seemingly endless list of possibilities there on the islands,  what can be grown can easily balance out and look good along side the " desert-y native / near native, and dry tropical-esque " plants nicely.. With a wide enough view ( ..and some space, lol ) anyone can create a landscape that accomplishes two main things.. conserving water/ other important resources, and looks lush. While it might not quite scream rainforest,  yards here don't have to look bone dry and desert-y all year either.. 

Whether heading down there for a new cactus /other stuff for the yard / x section of my overall plant collection ..or just for a hike somewhere down there, a trip to Tucson is like asking a dog if it wants to go to the park.. Can't think of one that would pass up the opportunity..

Having seen plenty of them lined up many nurseries here, awaiting new homes,  can't imagine trying to move big Saguaro.. Even an 5 footer looks intimidating enough.

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Opuntia X Ohio cuts and some specific Echinopsis pups patiently awaiting a touch more heat to get moving ( a touch faster, lol ).. 

DSC08912.thumb.JPG.03d3313e60454b34ca0fb1a4ab51fa26.JPG

For those i'll be passing on the Opuntia to, can see why i'm giving them a chance to get a little bigger before they go out.. Not tiny, but wouldn't be happy sending them out at this size...  

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7 minutes ago, Swolte said:

I could do without another obsession but after opening this thread... Darn!

..An attractive,  ..and sometimes painful obsession..  Emphasis on the occasionally painful part, lol.

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I’ve been trying to collect a bunch more of the smaller species. I get some people don’t care for a giant 12 foot wide patch of cactus, but the smaller varieties are really more desirable imo. The varieties of pad shape, size and color, flower color, and different spination. And they thrive on neglect, hard not to love. 
I must have watched the video below 30 times, I love the variety in a garden in such a cold climate in Quebec, Canada, and the rock garden by itself is awesome. Imagine if that guy lived 2 zones south, my god! Lol

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Excellent, large specimen of Opuntia ficus indica.. Have seen a few others around town just a bit taller, but not quite as wide.

DSC09016.thumb.JPG.5cfd871a099bf290b2dbcb2e3b0aba64.JPG

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