Friday, April 22, 2016

Eagle Claw Cactus

Echinocactus horizonthalonius
Eagles Claw Cactus

turk's head cactus
Echinocactus horizonthalonius

Echinocactus horizonthalonius
aka Blue Barrel Cactus

A little dish cactus garden.  Later this little arrangement would be attacked by red spider mites, killing half of the inhabitants before I discovered the problem.  The remaining survivors found a new home in the fireplace cactus garden.  Somehow just moving things into a more natural habitat balances conditions enough so that spider mites get added to someone else's menu...ants, spiders, wasps something in nature designed to counter balance a surplus.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Arachnacantha phobia!

Astrophytum myriostigma 'multicostatum' hardy to about 19 degrees.

Heart-leaf Hibiscus
Rain lilies Zephyranthes grandiflora (rosea) and my prized seed grown Heart-leaf Hibiscus.

Fredericksburg Cactus
I purchased this cactus at Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg, Texas.  Wildseed Farms is a great day trip from Austin and a fun destination nursery that has hard to find native wildflower seeds, a large selection of pottery, garden art, ice cream, and occasionally cactus.

Echinopsis ancistrophora ssp. arachnacantha
This cactus came to me unlabeled but my best guess says its part of the Lobivia ancistrophora ssp. arachnacantha clan.  It is surprisingly hardy to about 18 degrees.  Originally I was bit over zealous related to its hardiness and I propagated about 20 cuttings and was growing them "hard" in outdoor pots.  When 18 degrees came around all the smaller ones died and only this large well established one survived, lesson learned, small offsets require winter protection.

Echinopsis arachnacantha
Apparently there are many other colors of Lobivia arachnacantha (white, yellow, pink, orange), I would love to have some more of these.  It is a guaranteed bloomer and usually displays flowers several times a year.  It also freely produces more of itself which is rare for a hardy cactus with colorful blooms.

Spider Spines
Arachnacantha phobia?  Apparently the spider-like spines give us the variety name.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Orange Flameflowers and Blue Butterflies

Phemeranthus aurantiacus
Orange Flameflower (Phemeranthus aurantiacus) purchase at the Medina Garden Nursery.  A hard to find native plant I have never seen for sale at any other garden center.  A succulent plant in the Purslane Family, with its large underground tap root it feels right at home in a cactus garden.

Echinocereus dasyacanthus
A contrast of two kinds of Texas Rainbow Hedgehog cactus (the larger cream colored spined one on the left and the shorter more branching form with red spines in the middle).  Both of mine produce yellow and white flowers.

Pineapple cactus
Coryphantha sulcata.  Supposed hardy to 20 degrees below zero (which I hope not to experience first hand).  Very much looks like a pineapple today even the flowers mimic the juicy yellow center of a pineapple.

Twisted Rib Barrel
Twisted Rib Barrel (Hamatocactus setispinus)

Reakirt's Blue
Reakirt's blue butterfly (Hemiargus isola)

Hemiargus isola
Reakirt's blue butterfly (Hemiargus isola)