Sticky Fingers

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Gymnocalycium baldianum

I bought a cactus garden in March just because I wanted this gymno.

I wasn't too excited about anything else in the pot, but I just felt that I should add this particular one to my collection. When I got it home, I realised that it looked very much like the Gymnocalycium leeanum that I already had, and felt a bit disappointed, but still potted it up to see how it would develop.

Lo and behold! In no time at all it was budding and then it bloomed RED!

G. leeanum does not have red flowers at all, and this was subsequently identified as being G. baldianum. So it turns out to have not been a bad choice on my part, and it has bloomed again since. I hope it keeps it up all summer - the red is such a joy to see since many of the other cacti blooms are white or yellow. Don't you just love it?

First blooms ...................... Second round

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Echinopsis calochlora?

These may be Echinopsis calochlora and they may not. Could be some hybrid. The ID is based on the body colour and shape but I have many plants that look like this that I got from several different sources - from my aunt, my friend's mother, the Inspector, a nursery in St. Ann, Manny, and maybe others. I don't want to say for sure that they are the same until I see them all flower. And that is a trick I am yet to figure out how to accomplish - no sign of blooms on any of them, big or small.

This is my biggest clump - grown from an offset I got from my aunt. This is a 300 mm (12") concrete pot.

I recently got another one from Manny, already in bud so I got a chance to see the flower. I can't give myself credit for it, though, and still hope that the ones grown in my normal conditions will be stirred into action soon.

The plant.....

And close-up of the flower.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Opuntia jamaicensis

I'm not even sure that this name is correct but until I know better I will use it. I got some pads of this from a dread somewhere along the road by Sandy Bay in Clarendon and thought that it would be good to have it in the garden.

I thought it was one that would naturally grow upright and branch into a tree-like arrangement, like the others I had seen, but NO! It insists on sprawling around on the ground as it grows and I am wondering what to do with it. I know I can always chop off what I don't want and discard it but I hate to take that approach. These spines are so dangerous, though, that to interfere with it any other way in trying to organise it will just be begging for personal disaster.

The flowers, though, are what I really like and I have been hoping to catch them open for some time now without success - all I kept seeing was the buds or the spent blooms. So finally (although these were beginning to close) I have something to show.

Two flowers open on a pad:

Close-up of one of the flowers:

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

New gymno bloomed!

Well, the flowers opened but they are a bit deformed. I guess they were not able to fully recover from the constraint of the glue. At least they opened, so that's some consolation. Hopefully these will not be the only flowers of the season. Time will tell.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

New gymnocalycium

Last week I had bypassed this gymno at the VERY EXPENSIVE flower shop, but when I went there later in the week, I just felt I had to rescue it to allow it to bloom. I ripped off the straw flower before I even left the store. Although it was a bit pricey, I console myself with the thought that it had pups and if I count them as separate plants then it's not such a bad deal. Even the pups are budding, so I am waiting to see the display in a short while.

I think it is a Gymnocalycium damsii variety (maybe rotundulum) and I hope that the flowers will allow an ID to be confirmed. That is, if they have not been so badly affected by the thick glue that was holding them back. The buds are still a bit deformed but they are growing so I am optimistic.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Another one down

Euphorbia horrida, well on her way to the great garden in the sky. I don't think she can be saved. Not a good week for me so far!

Monday, May 01, 2006

RIP plumosa

This morning I found something that looked like some sort of droppings near the two new plants. I wondered if I had brought in some kind of creature with my new acquisitions. Then when I got the wipes to clean it up, I thought that MAYBE it was just fuzz that landed there, because it didn't have the consistency I'd expected. But then again, since I don't know enough about the waste of various creatures - I haven't ruled out my first hypothesis completely. I will have to watch and see.

On my way home, I nearly bought a Gymnocalycium at the VERY EXPENSIVE plant shop in Central Square - it was busy budding and had already tried to bloom but was obstructed by one of those HORRIBLE glued-on straw flowers. Apart from ripping off all the straw flowers, what I really wanted to do was just detach one of the pups, which was barely hanging on since the plant was badly potted, but my conscience got the better of me so I left it. Maybe I will pass by again later this week and see if they will sell me the little pup for a tiny price.

Then later on in the day, while going through my usual inspection, I noticed that the Mammillaria plumosa that I rescued from HD a few weeks ago wasn't looking very happy. I've been looking for signs of growth without success, and today I realised that the plant was no longer firm. Uh oh! Definitely not a good sign on a plumosa. So I lifted it out the pot and sure enough, the whole middle was gone - rotted away into red goop.

These are the remains of my M. Plumosa - now gone off to the great garden in the sky. May she rest in peace.

I managed to take off the pups that were still hanging on around the edges - six of them (see below), and cut off their bottoms in case they had already been infected. All I can do now is wait and see if they survive - they aren't too big, but you never know. I have managed to grow a plumosa from a tubercule, so this might just work out.

P.S. Good thing I went back to take those photos - when I looked a bit closer at the "remains" I found two more pups hidden in the mass of feathery spines. So that's eight salvaged - at least a few should make it.