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This page will be about our cactus garden and those cacti grown in our home.


Our Cactus garden is on the side of a hill.

We also have some at the entrance to our driveway.


We have doubled the size of our cactus garden.

Night Blooming Varieties!

Prickly Pear Cactus   Hedgehog Cactus

These pictures of Echinopsis Eyresii were taken before it bloomed this year. It bloomed the night I took this picture and because of our cool, rainy unseasonable weather was open for almost a week, until more of the blooms also opened. We had at least four blooms at a time on 2 occasions and still have more blooms to go.

images/nightblooming.jpgThis is a night blooming cactus that has blooms at least six inches wide. It's blooms last only one night and it's fragrance is powerful. I have been told this is a Echinopsis Eyresii.

images/nightblo.jpgIt's flower is red before opening and is very white when open. This picture was taken in the evening as it just started to open.

cactus/queen-night.jpgThe Arizona Queen of the Night Peniocereus Greggii is known as the Sweet Potato Cactus in some localities,and as Night Blooming Cereus in other places, a night blooming cactus having flowers about 13 inches in diameter, with white petals and golden sepals. It has a evanescent beauty and spicy fragrance. It appears to be a dried, dead seeming stick of stems that blend so well with its surrounding vegetation. Beneath the shallow root system is a large tuber that weighs up to 50 pounds. This tuber functions as a food and water storage compartment to sustain the plant thorough long periods of drought. The flowers last only one night closing as the sun grows bright in the morning. The flower appear in late July and the red, egg-shaped fruit ripens in September. The Indians used this fruit for jams and jellies. The tiny black spines are arranged in groups of ten or twelve to a cluster, with clusters lined up like a row of insects along the outer portion of the ribs. They extend the full length of the stems and branches. It compensates for its unattractiveness when it flowers. The picture at left was taken at 3 a.m. in total darkness against the fence that separate our homes in Tucson.

cactus/midnight-lady.jpgThe Midnight Lady Eriocereus Bonplandii blooms in June.

cactus/green-sirens.jpgThe Green Sirens Eriocereus Pomanensis Blooms in June.

cactus/blue-cereus.jpgThe Blue Cereus Cereus Hexagonus blooms in June or July.

cactus/torch-cereus.jpgThe Torch Cereus Trichocereus Spachianus blooms in June.

cactus/princess-night.jpgThis is Princess of the Night cactus that has blooms at least six inches wide. It's blooms last only one night and it emits a strong vanilla like fragrance. It's flowers are up to 12 inches in diameter, with white petals and golden sepals is a Selenicereus Pteranthus.


This night blooming Pink Hedgehog cactus Echinopsis Scoullar have flowers on 4 inch long stems that are soft pink colored flowers, the flowers also only open once and at night. The group Echinopsis are low columnar plants. This particular cactus did well with snow on it for a week. This happened in the winter of '98 and they all seem to be handling it rather well. Especially since most things tell me that it will not handle those temperatures. These picture were taken first at night and then first thing in the morning.

cactus/night99~1.jpgcactus/night99~1~bud.jpgThis night blooming beauty may be the Torch Cereus Echinopsis Trichocereus spachianus it is very common, and I'm told very easy to grow. The white flowers of this plant are about 5 inches in diameter. It is doing well here in the foothills both in the ground and a pot. Thanks Ulf for identifying this.

cactus/torch-3b.jpgcactus/torch-6a.jpgThis was a complete shock to us this year, as it was to have been another Torch Cactus Echinopsis Trichocereus spachianus, so we planted it in our garden and it has been blooming for three days now and is such a beautiful yellow. It opened the first morning and has been showing it's beauty to us ever since, not closing up after one night as a Torch cactus normally does.


cactus/night99~2.jpgThis night blooming cactus has hairy growth around the blooms before they bloom for one night, I didn't get a good picture of the cactus, so when I do I will put it up here. This is another nameless cactus in my garden. I received it at a Cactus & Succulent show in Fresno and am enjoying its beauty.

flowers/mystery.jpgflowers/mystery~spine.jpgcactus/Lemaireocereus-thurberi-07b.jpgI had waited ten years to see this cactus bloom, only to miss it. It is Lemaireocereus thurberi. There are several varieties of the Cereus type that look like it. A close up picture that shows the spines is at left. It blooms in the summer at night, the flower is white. May 2003, another chance at a bloom and this time I caught it. Thanks Bob for identifying this beautiful cactus!!!

cactus/mystery5.jpg This cactus Cereus neotetragonus, commonly known as the Fairy Castle little 4" tall cactus has five sides to it and many little babies or stems growing out from the tall main stem. It is spiny and will be interesting to see what it does. Thanks, Matt!!

cactus/mystery2.jpgThis is Pilocereus Azureus it has three pronged spikes that are red and tough, it is about 13 inches tall and was given to me 5 years ago as a baby. Thanks, Coulter!


cactus/CactusOct01.jpThis cactus has been a real shocker, it started as just one and now has blossomed and bloomed cactus/Cactus5--2003_14.jpg






This night blooming cactus needs the rock to hold it upright.

Prickly Pear Cactus!

Night Blooming Cactus   Hedgehog Cactus


Opuntia cacti do best where they get four or more hours a day of direct sunlight, or where artificial and natural light over 12 hours a day, but they will grow fairly well in bright indirect light, such as that reflected from light walls. In winter, night temperatures of 40° to 45° and day temperatures under 65° are ideal; from spring through fall, night temperatures of 65° to 70° and day temperatures of 75° to 85° are recommended. Let the soil become moderately dry between thorough watering from spring through fall; in winter, water only enough to keep the plants from shriveling. Newly potted plants should not be fed the first year; established plants should be fed once each spring. Repot annually in early spring for fast growth; otherwise, repot in spring when the plants become overcrowded. For best results use a mixture of 1 part loam, 1 part leaf mold, 1 part sharp sand and 1/2 part crushed charcoal, or else use a mixture of equal parts of a packaged general-purpose potting soil and sharp sand; to each gallon pail full of whichever of these mixtures you use, add 1 tablespoon of ground limestone and 1 tablespoon of bone meal. Propagate at any season from stem cuttings or from seeds. We use the new growth when cooking the pads.
All Opuntia species are edible (nontoxic) but some species are easier to use than others. Two parts of the plant are edible. The pads (nopalitos) and the pear (tuna). The pads are vegetable and the pear is fruit. While 'young' Opuntia pads contain less mucilage some work has been done on cactus mucilage as a possible dietary supplement to increase soluble fiber intake which has various health benefits. They are spineless varieties and are available already washed and diced or as whole pads. The fruits are often made into jelly. Process jars in a "waterbath" boiling water bath for five minutes. Test seal when cooled. Prickly pears are fruit that is left on the prickly pear cactus plant after the cactus has bloomed the prickly pears may range in color from yellow-green to deep purple-red. The pears may range in size from that of an apricot to 6-inches long. For this reason there is no accurate way of judging how many pears it may take to obtain a given amount. Note: cactus jelly may "jell" soon after processing or can take as long as 2 to 3 weeks. Cactus Pads contain and also a fair amount of B vitamins and iron. You can also enjoy the soft but crunchy Tangy, and silky textured Nopales right here at home. Always choose medium sized, firm pads. Avoid purchasing limp dry or soggy pads. Wrapped in plastic they should keep in the Refrigerator for several weeks. If you want to try a pad off your Opuntia just chose a new tender pad of new growth. Cactus Pads Nopales can be eaten raw but are preferred Cooked by most people. They can be steamed over Boiling water for a few minutes and then combined with other foods. Favorites are Nopales with eggs, added to Soups or chili, Mixed into Tortilla Fillings, or even Stuffed with Cheese and deep Fried. Experiment with them and learn to enjoy their unusual texture and taste.


A low growing prickly pear that produces many flowers, fruit and is edible. It's fruit are not big enough for making into jelly although it always sets many fruit. It's not a very spiny cactus and does not grow tall, it spreads out a lot. It is from the Opuntia family. These seed pods remain on it even into the next season and often has yellow flowers along with the red seed pods. Although we have never eaten these, I'm told they are delicious. I had been under the impression that it was not edible.

images/long~spine.jpgThis cactus has yellow flowers with red edges, it's spine are about 6 inches long and very strong. It belongs to the prickly pear Opuntia family. This one is rather new to my garden and has yet to show it's beauty.

cactus/purple-prickly.jpgThe Purple Prickly Pear Opuntia Santa-Rita seldom has spines, has areoles with Glochids and bears fruit from the spent flowers. It blooms in May.

cactus/pancake-prickly.jpgThe Pancake Prickly Pear Opuntia Chlorotica has lots of spines or glochids in the areoles. It blooms in May.

cactus/bristly-pear.jpg The Bristly Pear Opuntia Aciculata blooms in May.

cactus/prickly-rose.jpgThe Prickly Rose Opuntia Erinacea Var. Rhodantha blooms in May.


cactus/beaver~top-1b.jpg These Beaver Tail cactus has many tiny spines that are hard to remove when they get on you. It has many yellow flowers and does not like much water. When watered frequently the pads fall off. This Beaver Tail cactus Opuntia basilaris do not have true spines but are dotted with even more prickly growths, clusters of 1/16-inch glochids or spines are innocent to look at, glochids or spines are painful to touch and difficult to find when lodged in a finger.

cactus/porcupine.jpgMost prickly pear are abundant in the Southwest. This one the Porcupine Cactus Opuntia Erinacea Var. Hystricina is highly prized by collectors. I've had very good luck with this plant and it has produced many babies.

cactus/beaver-tail.jpgThis Beaver Tail cactus has many tiny spines that are hard to remove when they get on you. It has many pink flowers this cactus is the Opuntia basilaris. Most Opuntia grow too fast and too tall for indoor use, but two similar species make excellent house plants; they are the beavertail cactus and bunny ears. Both grow relatively slowly, ultimately reaching a height of 3 to 4 feet. They do not have true spines but are dotted with even more prickly growths, clusters of 1/16-inch glochids or spines Innocent to look at, glochids are painful to touch and difficult to find when lodged in a finger. The beavertail cactus has 4- to 8-inch-long purplish green pads with reddish brown glochids.

cactus/orange-tuna.jpgThis one the Orange-tuna Cactus Opuntia Anacantha are abundant in the Southwest.

cactus/tulip-prickly.jpgThe Tulip Prickly Pear Opuntia Phaeacantha is mostly low growing and creeping, and for that reason does not make much of an impression on the landscape. They bloom in May.

cactus/silver~dollar2.jpgcactus/silver~dollar.jpgThese are two of 3 Silver Dollar Cactus Opuntia robusta that I have growing in my yard. The fruit are normally abundant and the size of an apple. I use these fruit to make jelly, although this year there are not many and the size is rather small, the flowers are yellow and normally across the top of each pad. In 1998, with 40 days of below normal temperatures and lots of rain it looks as though my crop will be limited. I do not know the scientific name for this cactus. Each pad is 14 inches across and although the freeze in 1998-1999 did some damage, the plants are pretty much in tact except for one or two pads that suffered frost bite. We just cut the injured portion off and allowed the plants to recover. Hopefully they will go back to mass production of flower and fruit. The bottom of the main plant, shown here received extensive damage, and we have raised the ground level to save the plant. We have to raise it almost a foot to get to the bottom of the first pad that seems to not be damaged cactus/silver-dollar-01.jpgfrom the freeze in 98-99. It is near the top of the hillside, but down over a foot from the top of our walkway. Finally in 2003 we again have our first flowers since the freeze in 98-99, and look forward to the huge fruit it produces. Before the freeze this pad had 11 "apples" across the top of it.


cactus/mystery~optunia1.jpgThis Opuntia is thin and tall although it is actually a very small plant, it is growing lots of new pads all over it. It's inside for now and getting the southeastern sun.

cactus/orange~pad1.jpgcactus/orange~pad2.jpgThis orange flowered Opuntia's name I don't know, it is new to our garden in 2000. It has some long spines and after it has had a chance to adapt to our garden we'll add more pictures.

cactus/rose~pad.jpgThis rose colored Opuntia has three spines coming out of the center of each areole.

cactus/new_17.jpg Have waited a long time for this one to finally bloom it's a type Opuntia or prickly pear, people who gave me this have a beautiful cactus garden in the rocky area behind there home which lights up with lots of color when they in bloom.

Hedgehog Cactus!

Night Blooming Cactus   Prickly Pear Cactus

Ranging widely through the western United States and Mexico, some Echinocereus cacti are quite hardy. Most species bloom when the plants are still small and the flowers are often spectacular.

cactus/arizona-rainbow.jpgThis Arizona-Rainbow cactus Echinocereus Pectinatus Var. Rigidissimus is a single stem plant 3 to 4 inches in diameter and up to 12 inches high. It is completely covered with short, stiff spines, pressed flat against the stem. The spines are arranged in alternating color bands of red, yellow and white. The reddish flowers appear in May.

cactus/claret-cup.jpgThis Claret-Cup Cactus Echinocereus Triglochidiatus has soft fleshy stems often found arranged by the hundreds in great clumps as wide as 5 feet across. It flowers during April - June and they last several days.

cactus/lace.jpg This Lace Cactus Echinocereus Pectinatus Var. Reichenbachii blooms in May.

cactus/red-hedgehog.jpgThis Red Hedgehog Echinocereus Triglochidatus Var. Melanacanthus is sometimes called the "Crimson Hedgehog" and is found growing in mounds of a hundred stems or more, as wide as 4 feet and a foot high. As many as 60 crimson blossoms have been counted on one plant. It prefers the higher elevations. It blooms in April and May.

cactus/strawberry-hedgehog.jpgThis Strawberry Hedgehog Engelmannís Echinocereus Engelmannii is the most prominent of all hedgehogs found in the Southwest. It is a shaggy plant because of its drooping, need like spines 1 to 5 inches long, that densely cover the stems. Flowers, appear growing from the sides and near the top of the stems, which occur in clusters of two to twenty-five to a plant.

cactus/texas-rainbow.jpgThis Texas Rainbow Echinocereus Dasyacanthus . is a single stem plant 3 to 4 inches in diameter and up to 12 inches high. It is completely covered with short, stiff spines, pressed flat against the stem. The spines are arranged in alternating color bands of red and yellow. The reddish flowers appear in May.

cactus/comb.jpgThe Comb Cactus Echinocereus Pectinatus Var. Caespitosus blooms in May.

cactus/devil-finger.jpgThe Devilís Finger Echinocereus Blanckii blooms in May.

cactus/fendlers-hedgehog.jpgThe Fendlerís Hedgehog Echinocereus Fendleri has shorter and fewer spines than most hedgehogs. It reveals more of the dark green stem and is shorter and more oval in shape. They bloom from late March until early May.

cactus/warty-hedgehog.jpgThe Warty Hedgehog Echinocereus Enneacanthus blooms in May.

cactus/chartreuse-hedgehog.jpgThe Chartreuse Hedgehog Echinomastus Johnsonii Var. Lutescens blooms in April.

cactus/indian-basket.jpgThe Indian Basket Cactus Echinomastus Erectocentrus blooms in May.

cactus/glory-of-texas.jpgThis Glory of Texas Thelocactus bicolor blooms in June. One of the most decorative cacti of the deserts of Mexico and southern Texas, Thelocacti have grooved ribs, formed by protuberances which sprout multicolored spines. They usually grow in clusters of round or cone-shaped stems, 3 to 8 inches tall and 2 to 8 inches wide. On older plants, showy flowers, which open on summer days to a width of as much as 2 1/2 inches, are followed by scaly fruit. Glory-of-Texas sometimes forms cones 8 inches tall and 3 inches thick. Red or yellow-and-red spines grow on the ribs of the plant; flower colors range from pink to violet. It can be grown indoors in pots or outdoors where the climate permits in borders and rock gardens.

cactus/golden-lily.jpg This Golden Lilly Cactus Lobivia Aurea blooms in June and July. The genus name Lobivia is an anagram of Bolivia where many of the species originated, growing on mountain slopes and surviving low temperatures. They owe their popularity to their abundant flowers, easy care and small size. They are globular or short cylindrical plants that grow singly or with a central stem surrounded by tiny offsets. They bear funnel- or bell-shaped flowers as large as 4 inches across; in some species the blossoms almost hide the plants. Colors include shades of red, yellow, pink, orange, purple and white. Individual flowers usually last only one day. It is also known as a Golden Cob Cactus and grows about 4 inches tall and has trumpet-shaped bright yellow flowers.

cactus/orange-lily.jpg This Orange Lily Lobivia Aurea Var. Cylindrica blooms in June and July, it is native to Argentina.

cactus/cob.jpgThis Cob Cactus Lobivia Hertrichiana is native to south eastern Peru and blooms all summer long.

cactus/eagle-claws.jpgThis is an Eagle Claws Homalocephala texensis blooms in April.

cactus/easter-lily.jpg This Easter Lily Cactus Echinopsis Multiplex blooms all summer long. Hardy plants, these cacti grow rapidly and, when they have reached a height of about 3 inches, produce beautiful, night-blooming, white-to-pink funnel-shaped flowers on long tubes. Easter Lily cactus is a 12- or 15-ribbed globe up to 8 inches high, bearing, fragrant pink flowers 8 to 10 inches across. The areoles have 1-inch, curved, black-tipped brown spines.

cactus/star-capricorn.jpgThis Star of Capricorn Astrophytum Capricone It blooms all summer long.

cactus/sand-dollar.jpgThe Sand Dollar Cactus Astrophytum Asterias blooms all summer long. The sand dollar, globe shaped and white flecked, is only 1 1/2 inches tall and 3 inches across. It has eight shallow, rounded ribs. Although the plant is spineless, woolly areoles dominate it; they are evenly spaced along the ridges of the ribs. The 1 1/2-inch flowers are yellow with red throats. These species grow slowly; from seed they will take four or five years to reach 2 to 3 inches in diameter. These small, fat cacti are found in the Mexican deserts and along the Rio Grande in Texas. Round to slightly columnar, the stem's five to eight ribs may be sharp-edged or rounded and are usually covered with coarse white flecks and edged with widely spaced, woolly areoles. Yellow, daisy-like flowers 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches across, some with red centers, emerge from the top of the plant in summer. Flowers usually last a week or more and are followed by scaly, globe-shaped fruit.

cactus/star.jpgThe Star Cactus Astrophytum Myriostigma blooms all summer.

cactus/living-rock.jpgThe Living Rock Ariocarpus Fissuratus blooms in November.

Barrel Cactus   Cholla Cactus   Christmas Cactus
Desert Cactus Cultivation    Epiphyllum  Hedgehog Cactus  Hybrid Cactus
Mystery Cactus   Night Blooming Cactus   Pincushion Cactus
Prickly Pear Cactus   Saguaro Cactus   Succulents   Sunrise Cactus


This page copyright © 1997-2010 tses

Last updated 3/11/2010


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