By Alice Liles
Alice’s note: This story first appeared in my blog Cactus are Cool on May 14, 2018. These cacti produce such impressive flowers I thought they were worth sharing with you.
May is the month for cactus flowers at my house, especially from the echinocereus reichenbachii, also known as the lace hedgehog. It is one of the most common Texas cactus found pretty much throughout a wide central strip of the state, from north to south, less so in East Texas and far West Texas. They can be found in the Muleshoe area, too.
They all have pink flowers and yellow centers, but the variation in depth of color varies. Some have a single row of flower petals, others two and even three rows. The only bad thing about them is that the flowers open and close on the same day, so I have a one day window to catch them blooming. Luckily, I have many plants, so I get to enjoy the flowers all through the month of May and sometimes in June.
I had been watching this clump since the buds formed in April, not wanting to miss what would be a spectacular show of color. I took this picture on May 6th.
And this is what I discovered on May 8th.
Thank goodness I didn’t miss the show! They are always so beautiful I get seduced and take picture after picture, afraid I will miss the perfect shot.
The last day or two of April this cactus from Sedona, Arizona, bloomed. I am pretty sure it is also an echinocereus, just a different variety of what we have here in Texas. It also shares a stunning flower with an even deeper shade of magenta. I collected seeds this year and hope to grow more of them. And I hope the bees did some cross-pollinating with the Texas variety for me, so maybe someday I will come across a cactus with an even more impressive flower. I’m not sure they can be more impressive than what they both are individually, but time will tell.
It’s always a treasure hunt when I walk through the garden.
To see more pictures of these stunning flowers, go to www.aliceliles.com or come by and visit my garden and see them in person.