Friday, May 11, 2018
--- Local cactuses and succulents ---
I grew up and lived most of my life in the southeastern United States and except for ornamental plants, I did not have a lot of exposure to cactuses (lately "cacti"). Just about the only ones that grew wild there were the prickly pears. They grew all over Stewart's Hill in Riverview, Alabama where I spent much of my childhood between the ages of 10 and 15.
I don't know how well the epithet "ornamental" applies to cactuses. Perhaps "interesting" or "weird" is more appropriate, but when they bloom, they have few peers. Together with their relatives, the succulents, cactus blooms are some of the most complex, colorful, and texturally appealing flowers that there are.
Now, I live in a high desert and cactuses are at home here. Even the terrifying cholla finds it's place in local gardens.
I am working on some projects that require multiple hikes and considerable thought and blogs may appear a little slower than usual for awhile but, in the meantime, enjoy cactuses.
Do you have any native cactuses where you live? Treat yourself to a spectacle and catch them while they're flowering.
If cactuses don't grow wild in your area, I bet you can find neighbors who grow ornamental cactuses.
There are many websites that can help you identify cactuses and there are a few good phone apps.