Monday, May 27, 2013
Pink Epi Blossom
Ok, before you just dismiss this as just another flower, you should know this is a pretty cool plant. This is an Epiphyllum (or Hylocereus) Hybrid. It's a cactus similar to a christmas cactus, but bigger in every way. The pads are several feet long, and this blossom is about 9 inches across. His ancestors, were pure white and lived in one of the most unlikely places imaginable for a cactus, the canopy of Central American jungles, just like orchids (hence Epiphyllum, an epiphyte is a plant that grows upon another plant, like an orchid.) If that is not interesting enough, the large white blossoms of their ancestors bloomed in the evening for only one night. Why? Because their pollinators are nocturnal and some have fairly bad eyesight... bats and some large moths. I've always loved these plants. I have more than I really have room for, and each one is an amazing beauty.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
One of my beautiful Epiphyllum blossoms blooming right now. These are some of my favorite plants. Imagine a Christmas cactus, with 3 foot long pads and blossoms literally 9" across.
Friday, July 20, 2012
Man Eating Jungle Cactus
Ok, well maybe not man eating, but if you see him in person you might think it's possible. This is one of my Epis, and although there is not much in this image for size reference the blossom is at least eight inches across. These beauties are more like orchids than cacti. They, or more specifically their non-hybridized ancestors, grow in the South African jungle canopy and in the wild they are polinated by bats. Nature never ceases to amaze!
Monday, December 5, 2011
Amaryllis Christmas Flower
Blooming amaryllis flower. This is the biggest Amaryllis I have ever seen. The bulb is amazing, and as the first bud started to work it's way out I could see there were going to be quite a few blossoms. I loved the curves of the blossoms as they opened, and my timing was perfect. A few minutes after this shot was taken the inflorescence was completely open and the five buds were all pointing in different directions.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I love my plants, as evidenced by the huge number of them on the site. This is an example of one in particular that makes us want a bigger back yard. The flower is about eight inches across. We have somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred Epis. They're not all as big as this one, most are still small starts at this point. But if we want them to grow up to be big strong cacti we are going to need a lot more space! Once they grow up they are probably going to need their own site too... "The Epi of the Day"
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
If you are not familiar with Epis, think christmas cactus' big brother. REALLY big! This one was only around six inches across. But some of them can get blossoms up to nine inches. One of ours has a single pad that is over two feet long. They are beautiful and we need a bigger back yard because we have collected so many.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Sun Star Bloom
Well it's that time of year the Sun Stars are in bloom!
This is a beautiful Orange hybrid related to a Star-of-Bethlehem.
This particular flower was my first one. It took a rest last year, but
it is back strong.
If you landed here looking for care and feeding of your new plant take a look at the Sun Star page. And my earlier shot from the first time this one bloomed. Most importantly, it's a perennial bulb, so No!... you did not kill it! It dies back every year down to the bulb. And pretty fast after it's done blooming! If you're looking for one, they are available as live plants now. Or you can get bulbs in the fall. I've had a few requests for sources of bulbs so I'll try to get some links online soon.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Iridescent Epi Blossom
One of our Orchid Cacti, blooming like crazy. It may look like a close macro shot, but it is actually THAT BIG! 'Bout 9" across. I have kind of gone wild with Orchid Cacti. We actually have about a hundred epis now. Most started from small cuttings.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Glowing Succulent Blossom
This was a surprising find at a local nursery. I saw the flower as we were coming up to it and I was surprised when I saw that it was growing on a cool little succulent plant. We didn't bring it home with us yet, but I'll probably be going back to get it. Usually when the photos come out like this I regret not going back to get the plant. Too bad they don't sell bigger back yards to go with it.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Ackermanii in the Morning Sun
My wife pointed this blossom out to me this morning. It's a good thing too. The sun was so harsh this afternoon that the top of it got burned! This is on our biggest Orchid Cactus. It has been blooming non-stop for about a month which is pretty impressive since even in the shade each blossom only lasts for a few days.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Kalanchoe & Star
I was tinkering with using the Kalanchoe as a nice backdrop to get some shots of the green tipped Sun Star blossoms. In the end I was happiest with the shots that had them both in the mix. I really like the Kalanchoe in this shot because one of the flowers in the upper right has five petals. There are hundreds of blossoms and only two of them have five petals. The rest all have four.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Another of our new Orchid Cacti cuttings is showing off. This one surprised me. The bud did not seem to grow when we first got it. And as a cutting, I did not expect it to. Unlike the Iridescence cutting that started opening the day we brought it home, this guy's bud was very small. Once we got it in the pot however it was a different story. The pad perked up and the bud got bigger and, as you can see, it is very happy now.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Well Saturday has become Epiphyllum day apparently, so why break with
This is the second blossom on the cutting from last week as it was about to open. The cuttings are all planted now and seem to be doing well. I used a combination of soil, peat moss, bark and coconut fibers.
I'm trying for better drainage than usual because from what we have read they will actually have a better root structure if they have to go looking for water and nourishment. (I usually just plant them in potting soil.)
Since they are a jungle canopy plant, the roots are supposed to be almost as impressive as the pads themselves, up to six feet! Now that's a root! I'd like to see that, but I don't know if I have the nerve to try to coax them into growing that long.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Last Sunday there was a Cactus and Succulent show here in Santa Barbara.
We went looking for some new Epiphyllums, and specifically this one.
I saw one the day before at a Nursery and had my fingers crossed they would
have it at the show. We got this one as a single pad cutting. Of course
that one pad is about two feet long and four inches wide, with two blossoms.
To get an idea of the scale, the petals are almost an inch across and about five long. The whole blossom is at least eight inches across.
I hope you like it, because there are more Epi photos to come. We got seven cuttings at the show of six different varieties! I think it is safe to say we have a jungle in our back yard now since I have long since lost count how many we have.
Saturday, May 5, 2007
Wild Jungle Cactus
No it's not a man eating plant. (Well as long as I keep watering it and do what it says anyway.) The flowers on my Orchid Cacti are usually pretty amazing, but this one is particularly wild and they are not even open yet! There is nothing in the photo for size reference but the pink part of the blossom is at least four inches long. It's a good time of year to be a crazy photographer with a collection of wild plants!
Monday, April 30, 2007
When the Epiphyllum get going they really go wild.
This blossom (the red one) is from the beautiful
cactus that got us kicked out of our last apartment.
Well, maybe not that dramatic, but I sure was not going
to trim the cactus like the land lord wanted!
The lilies lived here when we moved in. They are actually in the ground in what we now call "Cactus Corner". They have had to stretch a little taller to see the sun. But they make an amazing contrast with the cactus and they always seem to be intertwined, I like to think they are friends.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
It's looking a lot like spring around here. We've spent the last couple of weekends working on our yard. New pots and more dirt all around. This beauty now has an automated dripper. Even though it is a cactus, ours are the happiest when they are sitting in a puddle of water for a couple of hours a day. Of course if you have been treating yours like a desert plant, I would recommend making the transition to hydroponics slowly, so as not to shock it.
Friday, February 16, 2007
One day recently we went to a nursery to look around for
more interesting things for our back yard.
Unfortunately, we got to the there close to closing time.
(a fact which several employees pointed out repeatedly.)
We did have time to find this beauty getting ready to bloom. Unfortunately it was a little too big to fit in the trunk of the car. (it was a little too big for our little back yard too!) But I was happy, I had my camera and the sun was doing beautiful things.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Today we went over to La Sumida Nursery in
search of a nice hummingbird feeder.
Our current hummingbird feeder
is just about done blooming.
Didn't find anything too interesting in a feeder. But the amazing display of plants always makes it a great place to wander with a camera.
Friday, July 28, 2006
Backlit Tomato Blossom
When I am busy and I just want to take a few pictures to relax I head into the back yard. These days that usually means taking pictures of tomatoes. But that's ok with me! They really are beautiful, especially when the light is just right.
Saturday, June 10, 2006
This one is called "Mr. Stripey"!
No! I don't name my plants...
Ok, well yeah, maybe I do.
But, not this one, he came with that name! Really! And, when this beautiful blossom turns into the HUGE tomato I know it will, you will see why!
Tuesday, June 6, 2006
Orchid Cactus in the Fern
This plant is getting huge! I love it! It sits high on a stack of clay pots and wooden planters in the corner of our yard. This is one of its "exploration" runners that it has sent off in search of rich soil or water (or in lieu of that possibly small farm animals).
Monday, May 29, 2006
Night Blooming Epiphyllum
Another one of our Orchid Cacti
started it's show this evening. From what I read this is
more what they are like in the wild. This beautiful
blossom opened up as the sun was going down.
The flower has a great fragrance and it is about twice the size of
the flowers on our big day-blooming Epiphyllum.
It is at least 6" from tip to tip of the outside petals,
with the cup of petals in the middle being over 4".
Most of the wild Epiphyllum blossoms last only one night and fade by morning so I wanted to get a shot of this right away. This is the first time this guy is blooming since we got him, so I don't know exactly what to expect. But, If I can get him in full sunlight I will try to get a nice shot with some reference to the size.
So, blooms at night, Has a blossom the size of a salad plate that is white and fragrant that you could see even if you were flying around half blind. Can you tell what they are trying to attract?
Friday, May 19, 2006
This is one of our blooming Orchid Cacti
that I mentioned the other day.
If you have one and want to know what makes them happy, we have one in full sunlight and several in the shade. (this guy is actually hanging from our patio umbrella) The full sun one is HUGE, the others are still happy. One was inside for a while. It is much happier outside, although it grew very long thin pads looking for food while it was inside. Now that it is outside it is popping out all kinds of thick little pads along the lengths of the woody thin pads. Makes for a very interesting plant. One thing they all have in common is they love water. You may think since they are cacti, they like to be dry, but they are definitely jungle plants. More about their history, and one of the reasons I love them so much see this photo of the day.