First, ever, for me

Something amazing and surprising happened to me the other day. Well, I suppose it wasn't so surprising, and really isn't that amazing to most gardeners, but for me it was a special day.


You see, I got my first Opuntia bloom! In fact, it was the first cactus bloom ever in my garden, and I've been tending to a potted cactus for almost 20 years now.

***


But let's talk about this blossom.



This is my Opuntia macrorhiza, one of the more vigorous of the prickly pear cuttings I received early this spring.



Although most of the cuttings are producing new pads, this was the only species that produced a flower bud.

It's actually produced another too, but that hasn't opened yet:


As I was pretty sure that this was the same species of Opuntia that one of my neighbors has been growing for several years, I grabbed my camera and walked down the street:


Their prickly pear patch is quite large, and does appear to be the same species, but I'm not an expert yet.


The pads on these plants seem to have less glochids -- the nasty little hairs -- than my plants do.


The blooms here seem to have less red in them than mine do too, so maybe it's not the same species.

They do have plenty of buds about to open:


Someday my Opuntia bed will look like this I hope.


But for now I've got a single spot of beauty of my own.

.

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Lancashire rose  – (May 22, 2012 at 6:23 AM)  

I'm happy for you because I know how wonderful it is when the blooms open, even for those of us who have more of these plants than we know what to do with. Right now I have a wagon full of pads waiting to be planted.Luckily they are not over fussy about having to wait having been in there 2 weeks. As to the name of opuntias. So many it is hard to know.

Christine @ The Gardening Blog  – (May 22, 2012 at 6:32 AM)  

I totally understand your excitement about this - this would feel like Christmas & Easter & my birthday all rolled into one if it was mine!!
Its really a beautiful bloom! Enjoy :)

Modern Mia  – (May 22, 2012 at 8:00 AM)  

What a beautiful blossom! Reminds me of my mother's Christmas and Thanksgiving cacti from my childhood.

danger garden  – (May 22, 2012 at 10:40 AM)  

Congrats! Guess I better get out there and see if any of mine show signs of blooming. Last year I didn't get a single flower.

Bom  – (May 22, 2012 at 10:54 AM)  

How wonderful for you. Congratulations on your bloom. Did I understand correctly that you waited 20 years for a cactus of yours to bloom?

Alan @ It's not work, It's gardening!  – (May 22, 2012 at 2:19 PM)  

Bom: I have a potted cactus that is 15-20 years old and has never bloomed.

Gerhard Bock  – (May 27, 2012 at 5:00 PM)  

Just beautiful! I love the touch of dark orange in the middle. I had my first opuntia blossom of the year a couple of days ago. There's something very special about these delicate-looking flowers growing on these prickly cacti!

Bom  – (May 27, 2012 at 10:05 PM)  

We make very patient men, don't we? I'll probably be writing a similar post 10 or so years from now.

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