Ripe pears…prickly pears

Tis the season for prickly pear harvest. Many of our early ripening prickly pears are beginning to change from green to red, providing a lovely feature in the fall garden. Here is our clump of Opuntia pyrocarpa this week. We hope everyone’s prickly pear is growing well from our giant prickly pear pad giveaway at our annual Summer Open Nursery and Garden.

A Rainbow of crazy cactus colors

Here are a couple more cactus hybrids flowering in the gardens of JLBG, both created by our volunteer cactus/succulent curator, Vince Schneider. The first is a Trichocereus cross, the parents of which were created by a former volunteer, Mike Papay. Vince crossed two of Mike’s selections to come up with the gem. My camera had trouble since I don’t think this color is supposed to exist in nature.

Trichocereus ‘Big Time’ x Irridescent Watermelon’

The second is Vince’s cross of Echinocereus dasycanthus x ctenoides…an amazing blend of colors. We can’t imagine anyone with a dry sun garden that isn’t growing these amazing plants.

Echinocereus [dasyacanthus Cornudas Mts, NM x ctenoides (SB1536 form)

New Notocactus

Several of our volunteers have dabbled with cactus breeding, so here is one of the hybrids we’re currently enjoying at JLBG, thanks to the creative efforts of Mike Papay. The top image is the female parent, Notocactus ottonis (yellow). The middle image is the male parent, Notocactus herteri var. roseoluteus (pink). The bottom image is the new hybrid, Notocactus x hertonis (peachy orange).

Notocactus ottonis
Notocactus herteri var. roseoluteus
Notocactus x hertonis

And the pricks are off…

Yes, cactus flowering season has begun at JLBG with our two earliest specimens. Both Notocactus hasselbergii from Argentina and Pediocactus simpsonii from the Western US are the first two to bloom each season. We should have an incredible cactus flowering this year, which should still be in full swing for our spring Open Nursery and Garden days.

Notocactus hasselbergii

Friday Morning Podcast

Here are some seed and seedpods from the gardens and the greenhouses today.

Friday Morning Podcast

More interesting seed pods from the garden this week.

Hardy Cactus…thoughts

We’ve got a thing for hardy cactus in the garden, but haven’t propagated many to offer yet. One of our many favorites is Notocactus apricus.  Above is our 17 year old clump in the garden, which is 4″ tall x 15″ wide.  We’ve grown a few from seed, but are curious how many folks might consider purchasing one?  We’ve only been to 7F since 2000, so we don’t know if it will take colder temperatures or not.  

Visitors to our spring Open Nursery and Garden this year got to see the amazing Trichocereus ‘Irridescent Watermelon’ (bred by local cacti specialist, Mike Papay) in full flower (hardy so far to 7 degrees F).  Offsets are almost non-existent, so we decided to grow some from seed. Each plant will be different, but all should be quite nice.  So, if we offered these as a seed strain, would you purchase some, knowing each will be slightly different?

Hardy Cactus in bloom at Juniper Level Botanic Garden

 

For those who didn’t get to our Open Nursery and Garden last week, here are some of the hardy cactus you missed in the new Souto Garden section.  We’re passionate about hardy cactus, and have been so since we were hooked by a jumping cholla about 45 years ago.  I hope you enjoy the photos of this amazing group of plants.Echinocereus nivosus in flower2

Echinocereus nivosus

Echinocereus reichenbachii var. caespitosus

Echinocereus reichenbachii var. caespitosusEchinocereus triglochiditus v. mojavensis in flower

Echinocereus triglochiditis v. mojavensisGymnocalycium Bridal Showers2

Gymnocalycium ‘Bridal Showers’ – a Mike Papay hybrid

Gymnocalycium doppianum in flower (2)

Gymnocalycium doppianumGymnocalycium Paradise Pink8

Gymnocalycium ‘Panama Pink’ – a Mike Papay hybrid

Notocactus paucidentatus2

Notocactus paucidentatus

Notocactus submamulosus in flower

Notocactus submamulosusOpuntia basilaris v. aurea Golden Carpet

Opuntia basilaris v. aurea ‘Golden Carpet’Opuntia Claude Arno2

Opuntia ‘Claude Arno’Opuntia polycantha Crystal Tide

Opuntia polycantha ‘Crystal Tide’Opuntia polycantha v. hystracina SW Colorado

Opuntia polycantha var. hystracina

Opuntia sp. Little Monk in flower (3)

Opuntia ‘Little Monk’Opuntia sp. nov pink flowers

Opuntia sp. nov. pink flowersTrichocereus Big Time (T. bruchii MP hybrid

Trichocereus ‘Big Time’ (a Mike Papay hybrid of T. bruchii)Trichocereus Irridescent Watermelon3 (2)

Trichocereus ‘Irridescent Watermelon’ – a Mike Papay hybridTrichocereus sp. D26-55 in flower2Trichocereus bruchii