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.