Friday, May 11, 2007

Cactus in Florida

My pancake cactus is blooming too. Its first bloom was last week; now it's got another open. See all the buds on this? It's just covered with them.

While I'm admiring the flower, I'm buzzed by an irritated bee. I step respectfully back.

But was it headed for the flower? No. It wanted to hang around licking an unopened bud instead.

Sometimes trying to understand bugs is like trying to understand cats. You best just...give it up, and love them as they are.
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Desert Cat said...

One thing that I've never resolved is whether variations in prickly pear blossom color is genetic or environmentally controlled. Yours has a pale lemon yellow blossom, but in the desert around my workplace, they range through a buttery yellow to ones with a deep salmon interior.

I know that another Opuntia species, one of the chollas, is definitely variable by genetics. I plucked a joint off a plant with a gorgeous claret blossom, and the blossoms on the new plant in a very different location carried the same gorgeous red color.

Nancy said...



cactus fruit is the best for jelly!

prettylady said...

I was going to say, your 'pancake cactus' looks remarkably similar to the cactus we call 'prickly pear' in Texas, and 'nopales' in Mexico, but D.C. and Nancy beat me to it. The blossoms are deep yellow around Gto.

Nopales salad: de-prickle and chop tender leaves and lightly steam them. Add feta or goat cheese, diced mango and dress with an lime and olive oil dressing.

k said...

Oh, YUM! Sweet and savory dishes, both. Oh, I can't wait!

We have more *prickly pears* down here. I've seen many different prickly pear species now, but not all can take our rainfall. I see many more varieties when I drive through Texas, AZ, etc.

So, locally here, we call a certain type with smaller leaves and very small flowers *prickly pear,* and this one, *pancake cactus.*

DC, I would ADORE a chance to grow your red one! Is that the same as one of the flower pix you posted? It was just breathtaking. And our local nopales are always yellow, it seems.

Hmmm. Do I see some plant swapping in our future?

Desert Cat said...

I think I did post a picture of it a couple years back. Daisycat trims it back a couple times a year because it gets into the path, so I'll have to catch it before that happens and get a good cutting.

k said...

Oh BOY! Thank you! I'll have a real one of a kind here then.

Granny J said...

Believe it or not, the prickly pear is known in almost all of the contiguous 48 states! On the other hand, one of my more interesting days was when we got to drive my Aussie nephew out to a hillside to see the critter in its natural habitat, where one doesn't have to destroy it as they do in OZ.