Cactus&Nursery11 Apr 2014 10:35 am


The flowering cactus are out in full force, full bloom, full glorious sunshine today and all weekend long! Now is definitely the time to get an eyeful.


These are all what we call Echinocereus grandiflora Hybrids, but others call them Tricho-Lobivia Hybrids. I would tell you why the others are wrong, but that would probably bore you to tears, so I will only leave you with this one word of advice: Don’t trust the Botanists.

2014-04-11 08.54.37

2014-04-11 08.56.16



Cactus07 Apr 2014 03:15 pm

Lots of cactus are blooming today what with the heat and the hot and the sunshine too.

Coryphantha delaetiana

Coryphantha delaetiana is the classic Beehive Cactus from Durango, Mexico. Regular and reliable bloomers. We see new buds coming throughout the spring and summer usually.

Cactus&Travel31 Mar 2014 10:37 am

It’s all available at Les Succulents Cactus. I’ve blogged about them before, but now we have a good picture of the store on – a traveling friend to succulents.

Here’s a small picture I’ve borrowed from JOELIX to entice you to click through to see all the pictures of the Cactus in Paris.


The store as seen in these pictures is reminiscent of the late and lamented Red Desert cactus store in San Francisco up to about 12 years ago. Then they closed. Now you can go to Paris instead.

Berkeley Succulents&Cactus30 Mar 2014 01:42 pm


Grayson St, Berkeley

Cactus&Science28 Feb 2014 08:17 am


Nopalea dejecta (Cactaceae) Collection: S.F. Curtis, Cuba; flowering joiont.
Artist: Eaton, Mary Emily – Date unknown – watercolor

From the Catalog of Botanical Illustrations, Department of Botany, Smithsonian Institution

Plate Number: 1725
Publication: The Cactaceae Vol. 1 Pl 4, Fig 4
Client: Britton, N.L. and Rose, J.N. – Size: 11×14

Berkeley Gardens&Cactus22 Feb 2014 12:34 pm

opuntia stannage ave

Stannage Ave., Berkeley

This cactus is a Opuntia. Probably an Opuntia tuna-blanca which will get large orange flowers and large red edible cactus fruit. Tunas for everyone! Delicious.

Cactus&News09 Jan 2014 07:58 am

Yesterday featured the Crestview Times-Gruff newspaper and their local story of a woman and her ancient christmas cactus. Today we feature not just a local newspaper story, but a video. Yes, a video.


This video comes courtesy of the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune, and this time I am not making up the name. That name is for real. I love small town papers!

Jean Zieher of Wisconsin Rapids… has a Christmas cactus she’s had for more than 40 years….

“Old Man Cactus” is a large plant, with red-toned blossoms tugging at its leaves. Blossoming plants might not seem unusual. But this one? It’s likely more than 70 years old….

While it might not be a family tree, the plant has a history. Jean’s grandmother, Katherine Schenk, originally had the plant.

And the article came with a pun! A pun! (See italics above.)

Cactus&Carnivorous Plants&News08 Jan 2014 09:49 am

I love small town newspapers.

Crestview woman’s Christmas cactus covered in 200-plus blooms

You’ll need to click through to the Crestview Times-Picayune, or maybe it was the Crestview Daily-Reader or wait, no that wasn’t right, it was the Crestview World-Globe? Crestview News-Bulletin? Crestview Advertiser? Anyway, just click through for the picture of the old lady who has kept her mother’s heirloom christmas cactus alive for over 100 years. And the picture includes an inset of a Venus Fly Trap for some reason. I can’t find any reference in the article to the carnivorous plant in the Crestview woman’s collection, so I don’t know why the picture is there. Go ahead and take a look! You’ll see! It’s “Interesting”!

Berkeley Gardens&Cactus&News&Plants07 Jan 2014 10:43 am

The Desert Sun has a suggestion of what to do with all your spare cactus. Make a fence! They have good ideas for using some of the taller prickly pear species, or if you prefer the more modern look they recommend a few different column cactus that will work for fences. Like the Fencepost Cactus, of course.

One first-hand account from mission days explained the cactus fence solved the problem of little suitable timber in coastal Southern California. The cactus fence was devised as a substitute. They were started by cutting paddles from well established cactus that reach the height desired. They’re inserted into the ground in a tightly spaced row where they root and grow quickly if watered. Prickly pear fences were not only perfect for containing livestock; they effectively protected the homestead from hostiles. No living thing on this Earth will penetrate a dense prickly pear hedge.

The cleanest living fences are made of fence post cactus, Pachycereus marginatus. These minimally spined upright cactus stems are ramrod straight, making the most amazing green walls. The best example I’ve ever seen was at the ethnobotanical garden in Oaxaca, Mexico where the fences are crisp and straight.

We use a giant cholla for fencing, both at the nursery and at home. Austrocylindropuntia subulata makes for a very good fence. Very spiny. Fast growing. Dangerous to try to breach. And pretty magenta flowers too. What more could you want?


Cactus02 Jan 2014 02:52 pm


We now have googly eyes. We’re so excited.

Berkeley Succulents&Cactus01 Jan 2014 10:47 am

Opuntia Berkeley

Spruce Street, Berkeley

Opuntia species with a lot of ripe red fruit.

And here’s the ripe red close-up:

Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit

Cactus&San Francisco22 Dec 2013 08:06 am

Cactus San Francisco

Just off the Embarcadero in San Francisco

I wonder if they got any of these San Francisco Cactus from us?

Cactus&Plants21 Dec 2013 08:59 am


The Christmas Cactus sure do know what season it is.

Cactus&Photography04 Nov 2013 08:14 am


Astrophytum capricorne is known as the Monks Hood.


Astrophytum ornatum is the well known Bishops Cap.

Or is it vice-versa? Hard to know. Cactus are such mysterious creatures. But we do know the A. ornatum will grow to 3 feet tall, while the much less common A. capricorne will stay below 12″.