Cactus and Crocus

This weekend my wife and I made an impromptu decision to visit the Missouri Botanical Garden after meeting with our accountant, a way to end the day on a fun note. Neither of us has been to the garden at this time of year, so we weren't sure what to expect in the outdoor beds.

There was a lot more going on outdoors than we expected, but I'll cover most of that in another post. Today I start with cactus and Euphorbias. Big bowls of them grow in the Linnean House, the building closest to the main entry building. The sweet scent of Jasmine filled the air as I bent over bowl after bowl of prickly beauty.


No IDs for these because I like to enjoy the spectacle of them and not worry about what they are. This is especially true because none of these are cold-hardy enough to survive in my garden and I don't have room for them indoors. (So better not tempt myself by knowing what they are, right?)

If I ever move to a warm arid climate, I know there will be plenty of exciting (dangerous) plants for my garden!

We did stop by the outdoor cold-hardy cactus beds too, as I was really curious to see how theirs fared this past winter -- mine are worrying me a bit (but that's a future post). I was relieved to see that theirs were comparable to mine. Here are a few notable examples:

That one looks pretty good, but has the orange spotting (seen on the pad in the top center of the image) that several of my plants do.

This next one is now on my "get this plant" list:

The "candle cholla" has a sturdier habit than the "Christmas cholla" that I currently grow. I like it! Anybody have a cutting of this they would be willing to send me in a plant trade?

This is the bulletproof Opuntia to grow in Missouri, Opuntia macrorhiza, as it can handle wetter winters. Too bad it doesn't grow more upright:

I have this in my garden, although my patch isn't nearly as large or dense as this one! This was at least 8' (2.4m) wide!

Finally, we happened upon the "Crocus Field", which we did not know was a thing -- this is always just lawn when we visit...

Click to view larger or open it in a new browser tab to see the small blooms

It's really amazing, especially because it was late in the day (around 5 PM) and the lower sun angle made things just glow when we moved to the other side of the field where the sun was in our faces!

The problem I've always had with crocus in the lawn is that you need to leave it unmowed for so long... I wonder what they do here? I'll have to come back in early summer to see if they wait until the crocus foliage fades before mowing.

More about our visit soon...

All photos were taken with my phone camera, so apologies for any quality decrease from normal.


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outlawgardener  – (March 24, 2015 at 9:42 AM)  

Beautiful cacti but that crocus field is incredible! I have a teeny patch in the lawn that was inherited with the garden. I think there was once a flower bed in the spot. Anyway, leaving the grass until the crocus foliage withers drives me nuts as it looks like I missed a spot with the mower! At the MBG with so many spread over such a large space, the longer grass might resemble a grassy field and be quite nice. Sorry your accountant visit wasn't pleasant!

Mark and Gaz  – (March 24, 2015 at 12:10 PM)  

Quite a sight those opuntias are lying like that, covering the bed! You can always count on botanical for a year round plant fix!

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (March 30, 2015 at 10:29 PM)  

Hey, we may all become neighbors someday in southern Arizona or some other arid climate with mild winters. Then we can start our own botanical garden!

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