Sunday, April 4, 2010

Surprise Flowers

I seem to be featuring cacti an awful lot lately, and today is no exception. That is because I was pleasantly surprised to have two more of mine flower in the past couple of days.

When we last left my Astrophytum asterias, in this post last fall, I noted that it had two immature flower buds. I honestly expected them to either develop then, or to shrivel up and die over the winter. Instead, they hung on, and yesterday, about two weeks after I restarted watering, I noticed this:

Astrophytum asterias, possibly my favorite cactus species, with a bud ready to open.

Then this morning, I awoke to this:

The bloom is a pale yellow, with red in the center

Here is my other bloomer. I have no idea what kind of cactus this is. It just caught my eye a couple of years ago because of its dense, fuzzy-looking spines. They aren't quite as soft as they look, but they aren't painfully dangerous, either. Edited to Add 04/15/10: I saw this cactus today at a nursery, and it had a label. So it now has a name: Parodia rudibueneckeri.

Parodia rudibueneckeri in bud a few days ago

With open blooms yesterday

The spines are so dense that the flowers are a bit crowded-in at the crown, and don't seem to be able to open fully. They are a lovely sunny yellow.

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