Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What Time Is It?

Why, it's cactus time. This is the time of the year that all the cactus bloom at Draco. Not all are in the gardens, but they are on our place. Unfortunately they are a lot like iris in the fact that they don't look all that impressive for fifty weeks out of the year and are real stunners for a couple of weeks. Out of the two I would take the cactus. They just fit me better.

This is one I dug up on a ranch I hunted down around Ensinal. It's a stunner.

My Cholla was given to me by an old rancher out west of Lampasas. He had one on either side of the walkway to his house. They were like trees, twenty foot tall trees.

The Claret Cup Cactus came from the same Lampasas county Rancher. They are also called Strawberry Cactus and the fruit is shaped and colored like a strawberry and, while not tasteing like strawberries, is very good eating. The yellow inside is so bright it almost loks like there is a light shining in it.
Here on our place, there are Horse Cripplers, Lace Cactus, Nipple Cactus, and Prickly Pear Cactus. The Horse Cripplers almost never bloom here, and I saw none this year. The little Nipple Cactus and Lace Cactus made up for it though.

These are pictures of Nipple Cactus. The blooms look raggidy to me, but beautiful none the less.

The Prickly Pear never have a bad year and it's a good thing as so many animals feed on it. It is great fun just going around and looking into the blooms and on the pads to see what kind of little critters are there. The pollen output of cactus is ginormous. The bugs in the blooms are just covered in it, making them look yellower than they really are. At this point, my buddy Philip at ESP blog , would insert a picture from the Dune movies with the "spice" every where.

I saved my favorite for last. The Lace Cactus grows all over Draco. There must be thousands of these friendly little cactus around here. I say friendly because you can handle them with out getting stuck by them. I've asked a bunch of people to tell me what they are reminded of when they see them standing so proud and every one of them has said the exact same thing. I won't go into it here but if there is a pepper called a peter pepper because of it's looks then we should rename this cactus. Just saying.

The blooms are absolutely stunning and they produce more blooms for their size than most of the other cactus. This cactus also lends itself to use in gardens very well. Even when not in bloom it is a very attractive little plant and as I said, user friendly, so you don't have to worry about kids around them.


Missie said...

Your cacti are beautiful. The only ones we have around here do not seem to bloom and are good only for getting stuck in bare feet!

Pam/Digging said...

Those are beautiful, Bob! What a treat to see all your lovely cactus flowers. It always amazes me to see such gorgeous flowers pop out of such seemingly inhospitable plants.

ESP said...

Hi Bob.

And what bright blooms they are! And so many different colors. My opuntia tree has been blooming the last few weeks, and like yours, the insects have been swarming all over it. My father once got a small cactus from an English coastal resort, it had small blooms all around its perimeter that never seemed to wane. I remember it to this day. One day he investigated the small cactus closer to find that the small blooms were in fact silk on small plastic stalks! The shock...the horror!

That Claret Cup Cactus is stunning. Next time you are in town, check out the relatively new cactus garden along the side of the "Star Bar", very impressive.
(600 W 6th St)

As for the Lace Cactus? I think it looks like a...
A couple of strategically positioned barrel cactus perhaps to complete the scene? It has to be done.

Thanks for the mention.

ConsciousGardener said...

Stunning! Bob, I have a collaborative project I'd like to hire you for...would you like to come by for a homebrew and chat?
Lemme know...

The Curious Holts said...

I wanna come by for a home brew whilst Bob is there, Cheryl. I'll try to be quiet...HAR HAR.

LOVE the cactus, Bob.

katina said...

As we were driving down from Colorado (helping the in laws move) I noticed all sorts of cactus blooming and thought to myself "wow, this is awesome. I don't remember the cacti around Austin blooming." But then, I don't think I've ever been anywhere around austin where there's a bunch of cacti during bloom season.

When did you guys want us to bring the in laws by?