April 2009

Reader Photos30 Apr 2009 03:23 pm

Kris sends along this cactus photo from Punta Pescadero, wherever that is.


I could ID this cactus for you, but then that would be too much information, and you’d be unhappy with my humble blog.

Nursery30 Apr 2009 02:51 pm

We like to keep updated photos of all our staff on the website.


Or, should I say we don’t have any beds, sofas, or cots at the nursery, so people sometimes get creative on their lunch break.

Anyway, this is Keith.

Photography30 Apr 2009 09:50 am


Cistus x. skanbergii

This evergreen hybrid from Mediterranean natives gets only 2 to 3 feet tall, and is, as usual for cactusblog plants, fully drought tolerant. But we’ve been having to do a bit of extra watering for the various cistuses in the windy weather we’ve been having, so go figure. Actually, they really just need to get into the ground. They’re not so good in pots long term.

They are deer and fire resistant, so that’s all good.

Questions30 Apr 2009 07:08 am

Q: I have a lovely cactus that my boyfriend gave me. It is a tall, columnlike cactus that at times has a crown of flowers. It was doing very well in my old …

The Forum of Fargo-Moorehead has a question. I presume they have a completed question and an answer to go with it, but I can’t find out since I’m not a subscriber. All I get is this first sentence. Harsh. But then, that’s ND for you.

I think blogging is taking its toll on my sanity. For years when I couldn’t get a full article, I would just ignore it. But now here I am quoting the first sentence and letting the whole thing hang. Maybe I’m getting lazy, or senile, or petulant. I like petulant.

News29 Apr 2009 02:09 pm

Photo: Edward Fontaine for The Maine Campus

Libby weaves back through the cacti and ducks under the leaves of the banana trees to enter the central walkway again, exiting the greenhouse, to his office just steps away.

News29 Apr 2009 12:07 pm

Or as I like to call them, Slocavores, have reached Las Vegas.

The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and Slow Food Las Vegas are co-hosting an event May 3 to teach area residents how to grow and prepare nopal cacti.

It’s true, nopales are slow.

(T)hese cacti… show promise in reducing heart disease and have a positive effect on individuals inflicted with Type 2 diabetes.

That too.

Heart-healthy slocavores.

Photography29 Apr 2009 09:09 am


Lewisia cotyledon

According to the USDA website, it’s native to California and Oregon. We like to say it comes from rocky soils in the Siskiyou Mountains, also known as serpentine soils, a barren type of rocky soil that is poisonous to most other plants. The tuber is edible, though not delicious, hence it’s common name, “bitterroot”.

The USDA also had this to say about the lewisia:

Growth Habit:
Native Status:

Good to know.

Did I mention they have very pretty flowers? And if you dead-head them they will rebloom up to 6 times a year. We had one that sent out continuous new bloom spikes all year long. And then we dug it up and sold it.

If you let it set seed, then it won’t bloom again for the year.

News29 Apr 2009 06:26 am

Los Angeles Councilman Richard Alarcón says… “I seriously think… DWP (Department of Water and Power) should hand out… cactus to (utility) customers,” Alarcón said. “I ate one last night, and they’re delicious.

“I think… it would send a powerful message and reduce water use.”


If they want to contact us, we can supply them all these free delicious cactus, for a (small, nominal) price.

Environment28 Apr 2009 08:58 am

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the grant recipients on Tuesday…

The project… helps protect habitats for the Siler pincushion cactus, a rare plant endemic to the Utah/Arizona border area… threatened because of the rapid urbanization of the Dixie area. The complex also assists with the preservation of the desert tortoise.

Here’s a picture.


That’s a two-fer – protect cactus AND tortoises. Too often we are asked to protect cactus OR tortoises. No longer. Thank you Secretary Salazar for all your good work protecting BOTH cactus AND tortoises. I’m an idiot.

Science28 Apr 2009 08:18 am

From the Smithsonian Institute National Museum of natural History, Department of Botany, Flora of West Indies feature presentation, comes this stunning red bromeliad.


Bromelia pinguin
Location: U.S. Virgin Islands, St. John
Photographer: P. Acevedo

Apparently it has a lot of common names.

Common Names: Ananas marrón (Dominican Republic), Bayonette (Haiti), Bayonette (L. Antilles), Bayonette pingouin (Haiti), Fleur de Jerichó (Haiti), Karatas (Dominican Republic), Karatas (L. Antilles), Maya (Cuba), Maya (Dominican Republic), Maya (Puerto Rico), Piña cimarrona (Cuba), Piña de cerca (Cuba), Piña de ratón (Cuba), Piña ratón (Cuba), Ping wing (Jamaica), Pingouin (Haiti), Pingouin (L. Antilles), Pinguin (Jamaica), Pinguin (L. Antilles), Pinguin (Puerto Rico), Rubibarbo de la tierra (Cuba),

Oy, what a lot of common names. I like “Piña ratón” myself.

News28 Apr 2009 07:29 am

This looks good. But it’s weeks away! What to do until then….


Creating Magic with Succulent Plants

Thursdays, May 14, 21, and 28, 7 – 9 pm Saturday, May 30, 9 am – 12 noon

Join three well-known experts in the field of succulents and learn how to create a lush and lovely landscape with these amazing waterwise plants. On May 14, Debra Lee Baldwin, award-winning photojournalist and author of the bestseller Designing with Succulents, will give a general introduction with a sneak peek at her forthcoming book on succulent container gardens. On May 21, Michael Buckner, landscape designer and owner of “The Plant Man” nursery, will talk about overall landscape design and factors that make it work-soil prep, cultural requirements, etc. And on May 28, horticulturist Patrick Anderson, creator of one of the most celebrated succulent gardens in California, will show you how to combine succulents with other plants and create marvelous garden vignettes. On Saturday, May 30, all three experts will participate in a panel discussion to answer your questions on gardening with succulent plants. After a short break, we will take a tour of the succulent plantings at Quail Botanical Gardens, Encinitas (CA).

News27 Apr 2009 03:57 pm

And all it took was everyone agreeing on the cactus. Tampa, FL is the site of the condo conflict.

Hoping to put an end to the ongoing conflict between the town and a group of condo residents over a proposed beach access widening at 176th Avenue, the Redington Shores Board of Commissioners scaled down the planned expansion….

“Cactus should not be on a public easement,” Denhardt said. “For liability purposes, those need to come out.”

Well, it is true that some cactus should not be in public right of ways. I think we can all agree with that. I wonder if anyone reads these silly little news items. They’re not really all that interesting. They have almost nothing to do with cactus, besides an occasional mention, and then I write nonsensical addendums. Well, maybe you read this far for my nonsense. I know I do.

Recipes27 Apr 2009 12:00 pm

Marian Manners and Prudence Penny were pseudonyms for the cooking instructors and writers, and later the food editors, of the Los Angeles Times and Hearst newspapers, respectively….

Many requests were for… “Top Chef” Quickfire challenges with Prudence and Marian inventing dishes based on one ingredient. A Southern California woman who wanted to use the wild cactus growing in her backyard received instructions for making cactus candy (chop down a cactus, remove thorns and simmer in simple syrup for several days).

Misc27 Apr 2009 10:16 am

My sister’s new driveway and walkway are finally complete.

Abby and Tom have a Driveway in Austin

They live in Austin, if you wanted to stop by and congratulate them.

Questions27 Apr 2009 07:32 am

Hi Cactus Jungle

Could you tell me why this cactus is turning somewhat white…
Last year, I bought some kelp because it was turning yellow
and that did the trick, but now it seems to have a new color.


what to do?



Did this Opuntia get turned around or moved recently? It looks like sunburn-bleaching… plants, like us have to develop a “suntan” to protect themselves from UV and if the north side is turned to the south or it is moved from inside to outside in to sun it can get a sunburn just like we can on our first spring trip to the beach.

You may need to trim off the top really damaged pad and let the lower part heal. It should “bark” over time.

Good luck,

thanks…I guess it had already had gotten “tough” from last
summer’s “all day in the sun” experience…guess not..

Whippets26 Apr 2009 07:16 am

I have been informed that I forgot Friday Whippet Blogging. What was I thinking!?!

Oy, now what will I do. I do have some leftover pictures from when Jaxx was visiting earlier in the year.


Hap is trying to get Benjamin and Jaxx to stop fighting and love each other. I think instead he’s scaring them.

News25 Apr 2009 03:11 pm

In an article about Food Trends for Recessionary Times with the heading:

Consumers are turning to comfort food but lighter beverages.

I wouldn’t expect to see any mention of cactus pads. No, I wouldn’t. But I would be wrong.

1. Persimmon
2. Starfruit
3. Lavender
4. Cactus
5. Chimichurri
6. Peri-Peri
7. Masala

I had no idea that cactus was going to be as popular as peri-peri in the coming year. Truly an oddity to behold.

Nursery25 Apr 2009 10:02 am

The SF Chronicle warns you to avoid Berkeley today.

Visitors are advised to use public transit, carpool and ride bicycles downtown, which is expected to be near gridlock due to the Dalai Lama’s security detail and the multiple festivals.

I say just avoid the east side of town. The west side should still have easy in and out access from the freeway, so come on by the nursery or we’ll be lonely without you.

Get your organic veggie starts planted already.

News25 Apr 2009 07:10 am

The Boulders Resort in Scottsdale, AZ is having a naming contest. They’re asking you to come up with creative names for six of their cacti, and you could win a trip to the spa.

Here’s one.


I think I’d name it Spike. Ahhhh, ha ha ha ha. Very clever of me.

You can name it Billy Barrel, if you like.

Environment24 Apr 2009 03:19 pm

Arizona Public Service Co. employees mowing down the cacti in the Black Canyon City area.

BLM… says… they do feel that if the saguaro is salvageable, it should be moved.

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