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!
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.
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.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Glowing Kalanchoe Close-up
I have been having a lot of fun with my plants and cameras lately. This flower is less than a quarter of an inch across. When you see it normally as just one in a cluster of flowers (called an inflorescence) the colors look continuous. Fading from red to yellow. However, on closer inspection you can see the speckled nature of the color like the printed page in a magazine.
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.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
I have always had a soft spot for these plants.
They have amazing thick leathery leaves and
when they bloom they are absolutely covered in flowers.
Recently there have been a more creative variety available. I found a "double" variety last year, and the coloring on this one is absolutely unique!
They make great subjects for creative photography lighting experiments too.
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.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
The nursery where we saw the Banana Plant the other day
had lots of other interesting things. It was the first place I
think I have ever seen a double Kalanchoe! We have several
Kalanchoes and I really love they way they get covered in blooms,
as soon as I saw this guy I grabbed him, I knew he was coming home with me.
He now has a nice spot where he gets a shaft of light in the afternoon through the glass door. That is when this shot was taken.
After watching a few flowers open it is interesting to see that the blooms change color with age. (there are actually quite a few other flowers that do this too.) They start out darker, almost red and fade to a beautiful orange that looks similar to our Sun Star Only a few of the flowers are variegated like this one. I would estimate there are about 300 flowers on the plant and it is only in a four inch pot.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Another photo I grew myself.
These plants are extremely beautiful and easy to grow. When the apartment we used to live in trimmed all of the palm trees they displaced all of the ummm... "residents" that live in the dry fronds. For a while we had a bit of a rat problem (outside, thankfully.) The main casualty of this was one of my oldest Kalanchoes. In about a day it was chewed level with the ground. I assumed it was done for. But, a few months later, a small plant popped up in the pot of my large Ficus tree that had been under the Kalanchoe. Apparently a small chewed up piece of the plant feel into the Ficus' pot and took root!
Kalanchoe, members of the succulent family, are native to Madagascar but their name is derived from a Chinese word.
Thursday, August 4, 2005
This looks like something from a cartoon. Something that would be waiting to snack on anything that walked by. The only thing that makes it look less... ummm... man eating is the fact that the blossoms are less than a quarter of an inch.
Tuesday, August 2, 2005
There is a great
little store in a
shopping center called The BarnYard
in Carmel. Every time we go I bring a few new plants home with me.
Last time I got a beautiful new Epiphyllum (Orchid Cactus)
to keep my other ones company.
This photo is a close-up of a little display they had in the shopping center.
Monday, June 6, 2005
Succulent on a Brick Wall
I have gotten in the habit of scanning most of my images.
Rather than picking out my favorites.
This is an image I found in a roll from a recent trip to Carmel
that I had overlooked at first.
I was talking to another Photographer that is also in the Santa Barbara Arts and Crafts Show. He said he had made the "Switch" to digital. Now he goes out and takes hundreds of pictures at a time. Then, when he gets home he deletes all that he does not want.
Now, I realize that everyone has their own way of doing things, that is just the way it is. But, I think I would miss out on a lot of cool images if I edited them so quickly and ruthlessly. I go to the other extreme, I keep way too much.
And, one other thing... Why is it always a "SWITCH"? While I can imagine getting a high quality digital camera I can not imagine totally giving up my AE-1 and Fuji Velvia.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Reclining Agave and Poppies
It's easy to get an interesting photograph
when you find good contrast in your subjects.
And I'm not just talking about the lighting.
The delicate flowers with the backdrop of the
imposing-looking Agave makes for a nice
composition. And yet, there are similarities
between the graceful curves of this particular
Agave and the soft curves of the flowers
that make this composition work particularly