Cactus Buds and Blooms – Future Tense in Arizona

I’m spending part of my winter in Arizona cactus country, and the past week has been pretty exciting. All sorts of interesting things are popping out the sides and tops of the cacti in these parts. I have no idea what the flowers will look like, nor how long it will take before they bloom. We’ve had quite a bit of rain though, so I’m hopeful that means a brilliant future for all the interesting plants that live in the desert.


One of the first out of the starting gate is this cactus – the Argentine Giant (Echinopsis candicans).

The plant itself isn’t all that wide or tall, but the flower buds were as long as my hand. Yesterday they were tightly closed.


Today- they were just about all open and the flowers were as big around as my cereal bowl!


Yes, they are fragrant and no, I have no idea how long the blooms will last.

I stood back and admired them for quite a while, and though both a butterfly and a hummingbird fed in nearby plants, neither of them paid any attention to these flowers. The bees didn’t either. Apparently the flowers are primarily open at night, which means that moths and bats would do the pollination.

Strangely enough, this is the past that somebody in the future is longing to go back to.
– Ashley Brilliant –

26 thoughts on “Cactus Buds and Blooms – Future Tense in Arizona

  1. Your pictures are so crisp and real, I swear I pricked my finger on that cactus!

    Expect a letter from my attorney.


    1. I like your airplane photo too. I like to fly – I just don’t like the airport part of the experience!


  2. Gorgeous. It gives me hope: even a prickly old cactus can produce something of beauty. 🙂


    1. I’ve never been in cactus country during blooming season before, so it is quite a revelation.


  3. Beautiful. I wish we had remainded in AZ long enough to see the desert blooming. Longing for spring in CO 🙂


    1. Yes, I think you would have enjoyed it. I’m glad we are here and not back in Alberta where I think the weather is very similar to what you get in Colorado.


  4. Lovely photos, Margie. I hope the weather turns warm for you when you return to the cold North.


    1. I see you have done 108 Photo Challenges. I’ve only done 56. It is going to take me quite a while to check out all of your Photos!


  5. The flowers typically open at night, but night can be a long time, so sometimes if a flower opens at the ending of the night, like at 5:00 a.m., the flower can last through the day and through the next night. They rarely are open for more than 36 hours though.


    1. Thanks for the botany lesson. I’m glad that the flowers last through at least one day – it would be a shame to miss such grand blossoms.


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