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For The Garden

Flowering Cacti

Author: Cathy Cromell
Issue: June, 2013, Page 126
CLARET CUP CACTUS
(Echinocereus triglochidiatus)



cacti with stunning flowers

CLARET CUP CACTUS
(Echinocereus triglochidiatus)


Type: Cactus

Elevation: Low, mid, high

Blooms: Scarlet; late spring to early summer

Size: Stems 2-16"H by 2-6"W; clump spreads 3'

Soil: Gravelly, with good drainage

Light: Full sun

Water needs: Low; do not water during winter dormancy.

Maintenance: Individual stems can be transplanted to start new clumps.

Attracts: Hummingbirds

Note: This plant is native to growing regions throughout the Southwest, including
deserts and woodlands. Flower colors and intensities vary across the red-orange spectrum.

Why we like it: Two- to three-inch-wide flowers on individual stems create a shapely mound of brilliant color.


ARIZONA QUEEN OF THE NIGHT
(Peniocereus greggii)
ARIZONA QUEEN OF THE NIGHT
(Peniocereus greggii)


Type: Cactus

Elevation: Low, mid

Blooms: White; May through July

Size: 2-9'L by 1/2-1"W

Soil: Good drainage

Light: Filtered

Water needs: Low; with regular water in a landscape, they produce thicker green succulent stems.

Maintenance: Minimal

Attracts: Hawk moths pollinate flowers; birds eat fruits.

Note: Resembling shriveled gray sticks, these Sonoran Desert natives sprawl unnoticed beneath desert trees and shrubs.

Why we like it: If grown in close proximity, multiple plants will almost magically bloom at the same time. Sweetly scented flowers unfurl at dusk, attracting moths.


TORCH CACTUS
(Trichocereus huacsha hybrid)
TORCH CACTUS
(Trichocereus huacsha hybrid)


Type: Cactus

Elevation: Low

Blooms: Pink, red, yellow, orange; spring and later

Size: Stems 8-12"H by 3-6"W; clump spreads 2-4'

Soil: Gravelly, with good drainage

Light: Filtered light beneath a tree canopy is best.

Water needs: Low

Maintenance: Regular watering and fertilizing promote more blooms. Do not over-water during winter dormancy.

Attracts: Bee pollinators

Note: Echinopsis and Trichocereus are sometimes grouped into one genus: Echinopsis. Trichocereus are generally more tolerant of heat and cold. Both do well in pots.

Why we like it: Its neon-bright flowers will knock your socks off. After initial bloom, may flower off and on for several months.


EASTER LILY CACTUS
(Echinopsis hybrid)
EASTER LILY CACTUS
(Echinopsis hybrid)


Type: Cactus

Elevation: Low

Blooms: Coral, magenta, orange, pink, scarlet, yellow, white; mid-spring to summer

Size: Stems 1-2'H by 4-6"W; clump spreads 3-4'

Soil: Gravelly

Light: Filtered light or afternoon shade in hot climates; full sun in milder ones; susceptible to sunburn.

Water needs: Low

Maintenance: Regular watering and fertilizing promote more blooms. Do not over-water during winter dormancy.

Attracts: Rabbits; protect with wire or spray repellent.

Note: Some hybrids bloom multiple times throughout the season.

Why we like it: Flowers the size of salad plates stand out dramatically.


Other Favorites:
Hundreds of Echinopsis and Trichocereus hybrids are available. Additional options include: Argentine giant (Echinopsis candicans); Cereus hildmannianus, Echinopsis multiplex and strawberry hedgehog.
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