Cactus flowers photographed

Dear Kitty. Some blog

Cactus flowers opening

This is a photo of cactus flowers opening.

From National Geographic about this, with more photos there:

Cactus Flowers: Mother Nature’s Fireworks

Janna Dotschkal

Did you know that cacti can bloom? Yes, those prickly green plants burst out some of the most beautiful flowers you’ve ever seen.

For photographer Greg Krehel, these crazy cactus flowers have become an obsession.

“Since I was a kid I’ve always loved succulents and cacti. One year I ended up at a local garden shop and picked up [a] cactus for my collection. A couple years later it put out these awesome flowers, unlike others I had seen. It just kept blooming. It really went to town.”

Note: Many of these cacti are hybrids that were bred and cultivated by different individuals, hence the unusual names.

After seeing these stunning blooms, Krehel decided he needed to know more about the breed of cactus he had…

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Echinocactus infestato dalla cocciniglia



Uno dei miei echinocactus horizontalonius invaso dalla cocciniglia

Durante il riposo invernale in serra, ho notato che alcune mie piante grasse sono state attaccate dalla cocciniglia.
In particolare uno dei miei echinocactus horizontalonius, innestato su myrtillocactus, era proprio messo male!

Siccome non ci tenevo a perdere questa pianta, dato che è uno dei miei innesti, mi sono armato di pazienza ed ho provveduto alla pulizia minuziosa di questo infame parassita!

Ho preso uno spazzolino da denti e un bicchiere di plastica riempito con alcool denaturato (quello che comunemente vendono in tutti i supermercati) ed ho pian piano, iniziato a strofinare sia la base della pianta che l’apice.

Ho ripetuto questa operazione più volte, nel giro di due-tre giorni, durante le ore meno calde della giornata… cambiando ovviamente sempre l’alcool e pulendo ogni volta lo spazzolino.

Ad oggi, la pianta cresce bene e la cocciniglia sembra essere stata debellata definitivamente! 🙂

Le cocciniglie o, impropriamente, coccidi (Coccoidea Handlirsch, 1903), sono una superfamiglia di insetti fitofagi compresi nell'ordine dei Rhynchota (sottordine Homoptera, sezione Sternorrhyncha). Il nome cocciniglia deriva dallo spagnolo cochinilla ("porcellino di terra"). Sono insetti esclusivamente fitomizi e costituiscono uno tra i più importanti raggruppamenti di insetti dannosi. La caratteristica generale che contraddistingue questi insetti è il marcato dimorfismo sessuale e la regressione morfologica, anatomica e funzionale delle femmine (neotenia). Echinocactus…

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Bulbine succulenta

enjoy succulents

Why would a plant like this spend a lot of water and energy to produce succulent leaves, only to let them die back when the dry period arrives?
The only reason I can think of is the following:  in winter there is a surplus of water, which the woody underground tuber cannot absorb quickly enough.
Leaves, even succulent ones, can grow much faster than tubers, and therefore can store more water in a shorter period.  When the weather starts becoming drier and hotter, the water in the leaves is then gradually absorbed by the tuber.
This recycling of water is best known from the mesemb family. It works a bit differently there (for one, very few Mesembs have tubers) but the general idea seems to me to be the same. For more info on this phenomenon, have a look at Water recycling in succulents.

B. succulenta is often locally abundant in the western part…

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Opuntia-my love with spines

Opuntia. Lara



Opuntia is a genus in the cactus family. It is not very popular among fans due to the terrible spine and  glochids, that easily penetrate skin. The greater part of the Opuntias are easy to grow:???????????????????????????????

-place outdoors in summer

– protect plants from winter damage

– use classical soil for cacti (1/3 compost, 2/3 pumice, pearlite,lava and sand)

-plenty of water in the growing season when the soil is dry

-love and patience

Today I place some Opuntia  outdoors in the shadow for 2 weeks, protected from the rain and without watering (the minimum temperature is still low).I repotted my Opuntia brasiliensis – it is still in the greenhouse (likes  temperatures below +10° C).   Remember do not water succulent after repotting -wait about 1 week. Of course I remove some spine from my hands and make some photos.

My love with spines!


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Forsythia – Sunny Spring Flower

Forsythia. Larissa


IMG_0360 new

It is flowering plants. native to eastern Asia, but one native to southeastern Europe. It is deciduous shrub and I love that isn’t high modest plant (my old friend is high about 2m). The flowers are produced in the early spring before the leaves. Forsythia is an easy grow plant (all types of soil, low temperature, sun and shade, propagation by stem cuttings in winter). It is a beautiful ornamental plant and is is traditional herbal medicinal plant in China (cold, allergies and flu symptoms).

It is a particular and generous plant!IMG_0677IMG_0678IMG_0685IMG_0686

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Euphorbia mauritanica

enjoy succulents

The name of this species is rather ironic. The plants were introduced into cultivation in Europe in the beginning of the 18th century or maybe even before, and believed to have come from “Mauritania”, a name used at that time for a large portion of northwestern Africa. We now know they do nor occur in that area at all.
On the contrary, the species is widespread in southern Africa, where it is found on flats and stony slopes, sometimes also on coastal dunes. It is a much-branched shrub up to 2 m tall with  short-lived leaves. The flowers appear from May to November.
As it is a variable species, a number  of varieties have been described in the past, but these are now regarded as ecotypes and their names  therefore as synonyms.


euphmaur 1710

euphmaur 8129

euphmaur 9214

euphmaur 9217

euphmaur 4730

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