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Exotic Desert Flowers


By hywel


I started collecting cacti when I was a teenager, back in the 1960s.
I initially became interested in their morphology – they have such fascinating shapes and sizes.

Then I saw their flowers.
And that did it ! I was hooked on them for ever !

I always look forward to seeing the flowers … because when a cactus flowers, it is something of an event !


At first, when nothing happens, you might feel like giving up.
But then little tufts of hair appear on the areoles :-

After a while, they get bigger …

And then bigger …

They elongate into a big bud …


You wait …


And wait !


And then, one day …

The most beautiful sight you’ve ever seen !

It’s like beauty and the beast, isn’t it … :D

This one is Echinopsis oxygona.
It comes from the south of Brazil and Uruguay,
where it grows among grasses and shrubs on the plains or on low hills


Echinopsis subdenudata :-

Echinopsis chacoana :-

Lobivia arachnacantha :-

Echinocereus pulchellus :-

Echinocereus rigidissimus :-

Astrophytum capricorne :-

Gymnocalycium ambatoense :-

Gymnocalycium baldianum :-

Notocactus veenianus :-

Notocactus warasii :-

Thelocactus bicolor :-

Neochilenia crispa :-

Neoporteria paucicostata :-

They always remind me of those two lines from Grey’s Elegy Written in a Country Church-yard :-

“Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.”

Well I suppose they are seen – by the insects and humming birds that pollinate them …

And mine are definitely seen, and I show their photos on here as well :)

They really are beautiful, and I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing them :)

More blog posts by hywel

Previous post: Fuchsias so far ...

Next post: Pollen collectors.



How fascinating,Hywel.......interesting to see how a flower develops.......must take a long time.

31 Jul, 2014


Great collection Hywel, the flowers are very pretty...

31 Jul, 2014


Stunning collection Hywel!

31 Jul, 2014


They are well worth waiting for, Hywel. They are so perfect.

31 Jul, 2014


Beautiful display,Hywel..and how happy they make you feel,I'm many different colours to them too.. I still like that startled little 'Lemur face' best ! Lol :o)x

31 Jul, 2014


Really lovely - never realised the range of flowers on cactus - now I am interested

31 Jul, 2014


Absolutely breathtaking. Makes me wish I hadn't given up collecting. How ever did that E subdenudata produce all those huge flowers from such a little plant???

31 Jul, 2014


They're stunning. I can see why you love them so much.

31 Jul, 2014


I agree , the flowers are stunning.

31 Jul, 2014


Thank you all for reading my blog :)

1 Aug, 2014


Beautiful flowers and a great blog as always Hywel :o)

1 Aug, 2014


Most wonderful blooms and collection Hywel.

1 Aug, 2014


I really must try standing mine outside for a while, you never know it might shock them into flowering, lol, all lovely Hywel.
My dirty discoloured one that used to live on the kitchen windowledge doesn't know whether its coming or going, I thought it was dying as the original stump went brown nearly all the way to the bottom, instead its produced a new stump from the base and one of the other stumps is going through a growing spurt, really weird, I'll take a photo and pop it on to show you as I really don't know what to do with it as regards the dead part...

2 Aug, 2014


Thank you all :)

Sue I'll have a look at your photo when you upload it ...

3 Aug, 2014


Such fascinating plants Hywel, and such beautiful flowers. That first pink one is truly stunning.

3 Aug, 2014


I feel like crying. That first photo is so moving. It is pink perfection. Thank you for all you do to help us see all the beautiful things in the world.

3 Aug, 2014


Added photo to my pics Hywel...

3 Aug, 2014


Wow Hywel I can see why you are hooked.......really beautiful flowers, very much beauty and the beast.......loved them all.

3 Aug, 2014


Thank you all.
I'll look for your photo Sue ...

3 Aug, 2014


these flowers are amazing. When I was little I used to think the flowers were fake as they looked so incongruous. Their beauty against the spikey stems.

5 Aug, 2014


Thank you :)

6 Aug, 2014

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