Cacti are traditionally favorites of many gardeners because they are so low maintenance and perfect for high heat/low water locations. Because we get a lot of rain during certain times of the year here in north Mississippi, my cacti are in a container that I can bring in and put under my grow light when the cold, rainy season arrives.
I neglect my cacti. I forget to water them or pay them any mind…until they bloom. And man, do they bloom. One of my cacti in particular is just stunning. The bloom only lasts for the morning so if I don’t catch it before I come home for lunch I have missed it entirely. I believe it is actually considered night blooming but I have never been up early enough to see if it blooms in the dark.
This cactus is Echinopsis subdenudata also known as Easter lily cactus or sea urchin cactus. These two common names come from different parts of this plant. The body of the cactus looks a bit like a sea urchin (minus its spines) and when it blooms, the blooms are reminiscent of an Easter lily (although not so much in my mind). The body of the cactus does not have a lot of spines – you’ll find small ones hidden in the wooly tufts along the ridges of the plant.
The flowers attract small pollinators especially flies – which probably means they don’t smell too good. However, I have never noticed a strong scent from them and I’m too chicken to stick my nose that close for a deep inhale. My sense of smell is way too strong and I just don’t want to experience an odor that would attract a fly.
This cactus hails from Bolivia.
The Cactus Flowers
Just look at these flowers! It has bloomed four times already this summer and sometimes it has multiple flowers at once. It’s on a raised container in the front of my yard where it can get the most sun and drain pretty quickly after a heavy rain.