Christmas Cactus

It’s Christmas Cactus season!

Schlumbergera hybrids have the best flowers.

Christmas Cactus will bloom for up to 2 months in the winter. A jungle cactus that grows in trees – needs bright indirect sun, or dappled light

Tips to get your Christmas Cactus to re-bloom every year:
1. August, September and into October: Use bloom food every time you water
2. September and October: 14 hours of darkness, with 8-10 hours of indirect light every day
3. November and December: bring out to bright indirect light and watch it bloom!

Pincushion Cactus

Mammillaria crinita has great color, lots of spines, very cute!

Native to Mexico, it grows on volcanic rock. Ouch. But then there are yellow flowers…

More Blooming Cacti

A late blooming Echinopsis grandiflora hybrid that we like to call “Tropical Pink”. Nice!

The Future is Cactus

According to

We’ll All Be Eating Cactus in the Future Thanks to Climate Change
by Katie Valentine

…the prickly pear cactus, a humble plant that, according to a new book co-published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, can serve as a lifesaving crop for many countries…

“It’s actually a fairly amazing crop that can grow in most dry areas of the world,” Makiko Taguchi, a cactus expert at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, told Earther. “And the dry areas of the world are expanding in some places.”

Oh, and it’s delicious!

Prickly Pear Margarita


coarse salt as needed
2 fluid ounces tequila
2 fluid ounces sweet and sour mix

1 fluid ounce triple sec
1 fluid ounce lime juice
1 fluid ounce prickly pear syrup

Click thru to see the rest of the instructions.

Road Kill Cactus

Consolea rubescens is the flat cactus known as the Road Kill Cactus

Because it’s flat!
😍 👏 🐝 🦋


Pachycereus pringlei

Common Name: Cardón

Origin: Baja California

Description: Tall and spiny to 40ft. with 2ft. trunk, slow growing. Edible fruit, medicinal stems.

Temperature: Hardy to 25F

Star Cactus

Ariocarpus fissuratus vibrantly blooming in autumn.

Common Name: Star Rock, Chaute

Origin: Big Bend, Texas; Mexico

Description: Slow-growing to 10″d; hairy center; summer blooms; keep dry in winter

Hardy to 25F
Full Sun
Extra Chunky Cactus Soil
Low Water

Blooming Cactus Flowers

Beautiful Ariocarpus retusus flowers!

Ariocarpus retusus

Common Name: Living Rock Cactus, Seven Stars, Chaute

Origin: Mexico

Description: Highly variable, possibly through hybridizing. Slow-growing to 10″d; hairy center; summer blooms. Keep dry in winter

Temperature: Hardy to 15F

Los Angeles Area Cactus Show 

Were you wondering what to do next weekend? Are you going to be in Encino next weekend? You are in luck!

If your garden yearns for crazy, colorful, drought-hearty plants, the Los Angeles Cactus and Succulent Society aims to satisfy at its first Fall Sale Sept. 16 in Encino.

A variety of cacti and succulents are up for sale. (Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)

I say, “Woot!”

Dragonfruit Recipe

I found this delicious Dragonfruit Sherbet recipe from our local Berkeleyside!

It’s been a very hot weekend (Record heat throughout Berkeley, San Francisco and Oakland? Yes!) so it’s what you want. Right now.

Incredibly addictive, this sherbet offers a celebration of refreshing and complementary flavor in every spoonful. The cool dragon fruit is faintly milky, citrusy and herbal with its gentle infusion of lemongrass. Meanwhile, the strawberry layer offers a hint of tartness and a welcome trace of classic berry sweetness.

Dragon Fruit Sherbet with Lemongrass and Strawberry

Makes about a quart

1 1/2 ounces (about 1 1/2 stalks, depending on size) fresh lemongrass
3/4 cup canned light coconut milk (not full-fat)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces fresh ripe strawberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons light, somewhat neutral liquor of your choice, at least 80 proof (think vodka, light rum or a clear fruit brandy)
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 pounds dragon fruit (about 3 medium dragon fruit)

As always, click through for the full instructions.

Delicious Prickly Pear Fruit

That is some delicious looking large red cactus fruit, aka Tunas, Prickly Pears, Sabras, nōchtli and more names! This is on one of our larger Opuntia robusta plants. When they get in the ground they can produced a lot of fruit, just for you if that’s what you want, or for all your neighbors and friends too, if you have neighbors and friends. I always prefer to eat my prickly pears by blending them in with my margaritas. Delicious, and healthy!

Prickly Pear Margarita Recipe
Using Prickly Pear Juice
Restaurant Cocktail Recipe

Preparation time: 3 minutes. Serves 1


2 ounces Tequila
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce prickly pear juice
1/2 ounce Cointreau
Lime slice for garnish
Kosher salt

Instructions: Click through for the rest of the instructions!
Note that I always leave off the salt, because that’s just the way I prefer my margaritas, without salt.

Cactus ID for Everyone!

Subject: cactus photo

sent you a message asking for your help finding out what kind of cactus this is thanks for all your help

Mr Leslie Paulson

Your cactus is a Cereus c.v. Monstrose!


Echinopsis Flower

Echinopsis x grandiflora hybrid “Butterfly Mango” showing off.

Summer Cactus Flower

It’s a cholla in full bloom! Well, it’s a single cholla flower. At least! Maybe I could zoom out and we’d see if there are more flowers.

And it’s a California native cactus too.

Cylindropuntia fulgida

Chain-Fruit Cholla, Boxing glove Cholla

Origin: California, Arizona, New Mexico, Baja California

Medium height tree cholla, to 6ft tall. Flowers in summer.

Hardy to 5F.


Pterocactus tuberosus 

Ben’s weird caudiciform opuntioid is blooming!

Pterocactus tuberosus 

Thanks for sharing, Ben!

Hopefully we’ll have some available by fall. We can all hope. 

Easter Lily Cactus 

Echinopsis oxygona 

Origin: South America

Description: Forms clumps. Stems are variable – 2-10″ diameter; spines are variable, not always present. Large tubular showy flowers range from pinkish white to lavender, sometimes light red.

Temperature: Hardy to 20F

Full Sun to Part Sun

California Beavertail Cactus 

Opuntia basilaris 

Classic blue cactus from the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts. Very low water, can handle high heat and winter cold if dry. Pink flowers. Loads of small glochids, very few spines. Will get 2 to 3 feet tall and spread 6 to 8 feet wide over time. Pads were used medicinally.

Temperature: Hardy to 0F if very dry

Dave Sends a Photo…

…of a giant blooming cactus he got from Cactus Jungle!

Thought you would enjoy

A picture of a cactus we brought from you two years ago.

Nice. That’s one of our Echinopsis grandiflora hybrids.

Butterfly Mango 

Echinopsis x grandiflora “Butterfly Mango” 

Another giant #cactus flower! Sweet. It’s a good spring for cactus flowers. 

Cactus Hybrids 

Our newest hybrid grandiflora is Echinopsis “Rocket Pink”. 


Cactus ID Is Difficult 


I recently purchased a cactus to put on my windowsill to brighten up my room a bit, my problem is that I threw away the container right after I repotted it and now I don’t know what it is exactly. Could you help me?

The pot it’s in in this picture is four inches across and the ends of the spines are a dark red color.

Thank you so much!



Hard to know for sure at that size, but I would guess a Gymnocalycium, although my 2nd guess would be a Ferocactus. If it blooms young, it’s probably a Gymnocalycium. Also, it looks like it could use more sun.


Blooming Cactus 

Rebutia heliosa v melanistic

Origin: Bolivia

“Short Spined” variety

Clustering small stems, variable red to magenta flowers, spiraling ribs with prominent tubercles. Elongate areoles. Short, tiny brown spines. Purple-tinged stems in full sun.

Full Sun to Part Sun
Ultra Soil Blend
Low Water

Size: Clusters of 1″ stems

Medusa Cactus

Ben brought in his gorgeous specimen Astrophytum caput-medusae, although he prefers to go by the name Digitostigma caput-medusae, which is considered a non-recognized name by the science boards that decide these things.

Ben says we may have some available to sell at the Cactus Jungle in a year or two. Nice! Thanks, Ben.

The horns are the cactus’ tubercles, i.e. what in most cactus are little bumps on or along the stems, here have gone wild and formed these giant spotted horns.

And the flower is cresting! Another closeup of the flower after the jump… Read More…


February 2019
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