Thursday, May 8, 2014

Opuntia aciculata is my favorite plant in the garden, this week…


This week’s favorite plant is another in a container, not that it has to be. It spent the entire winter outside, stuck in a drive way planter waiting for spring. No it’s in a container simply because I wanted to highlight it, and keep an eye on it...

After all those glochids aren't fooling around.

They’re also the reason for its common name, Chenille Prickly Pear.

They remind me of my grandma’s chenille bedspread, only it was soft (photo borrowed from Etsy, because I don't have my grandma's bedspread, sadly).

This opuntia came to me as a gift from Bob, The Miserable Gardener. This warning was on the outside of the bag, I decided to take it seriously and open the package with salad tongs. I'm glad I did as there were glochids everywhere.

Judging by the photos I found online this plant will bloom red, a welcome change from the usual yellow opuntia flowers in my garden. It's hardy to USDA Zone 8a, when planted in well drained soil, of course. There are a total of 3 new pads developing, they look so sweet in innocent now...

What's caught your eye in your own garden this week?

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

23 comments:

  1. Oooh, such a nice one! If it were only more cold-hardy... Please don't use the phrase "caught your eye" around images of this one though, as I just cringe at the thought of glochids being rubbed...

    You're not the only one who posted about Opuntia today. :)

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    1. Haha, I wondered if anyone would wince at that remark.

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  2. Beautiful! Opuntia are really putting on a show right now. There's nothing quite like new opuntia growth!

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    1. I was just noticing yesterday how many "pad bumps" (kind of like a baby bump) there around the garden. It is pretty exciting, the perfect opposite to winters brutal destruction.

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  3. That's one cute looking dangerous plant!

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  4. What an interesting little cacti! Love the name, so suiting! Your blogs are really getting to me. I was so excited when one of my cacti with long finger like branches got all these little balls on the end. I wish I could add a picture. I can't wait to see what it will do next. With our recent drought more and more clients want "Austin" style gardens. Problem is we don't have good drainage and still get quite a lot of rain. I recommend raised beds and pots if they want them. I hope you show pictures when yours flowers : )

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    1. "cacti with long finger like branches got all these little balls on the end"...you're killing me! Maybe yo could email a photo? spiky plants at gmail dot com...

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  5. You know, while I like the look of Opuntia, I've been wary of the really spiky ones. But after all the trouble I've had with raccoons this year and last, I'm wondering if a plant with really mean glochids might be just what I need. My contribution to the meme this week is a rather ordinary plant that happens to have spectacular blooms: http://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2014/05/my-favorite-plant-this-week_8.html

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    1. Oh the poor raccoons! I can see a protective opuntia fence lining all your planting areas...

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  6. What's a "glochid"? I guess I need to google it.

    Growing cacti is something I have never really thought about. I know that some guys down south grow them, but never heard of anyone growing them outside in Scotland.

    My favourite plant at the moment is my Rodgersia pinnata "Cally Coffee". It is the first of my Rodgersia to come up and the new growth is literally a dark roast colour!

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    1. I'm guessing you googled?

      I hadn't heard of that rodgersia but love the name and image you've conjured.

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    2. The Rodgersia came from the nursery Cally Gardens (the nursery with the monster Mahonia gracilepes). Michael Whittaker, the owner, must have named it after his nursery.

      Google it and go to the images page and you will see a relatively poor photo of a brown Rodgersia and that is a phone photo I took.

      Have a great weekend!

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  7. My one rescued pad of Bunny Ears is starting to grow ears...so exciting. All is not lost. I still will bring it in each winter, after bad experiences with melting Opuntias in the past. That is a really cute one, and I love the comparison shot of the chenille bedspread.

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    1. Melting opuntia is never a good thing, especially if they drop a few spikes which you later find on the ground (speaking from experience).

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  8. Remembering the time I got a cactus spine in my bra, your close-ups of the glochids made my skin crawl.

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    1. Sorry about that. If it's any consolation the same thing has happened to me...

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  9. The moment I saw the first photo I immediately thought about all those glochids, and then you highlighted it too! Cool looking opuntia!

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  10. Beautiful...what can I say. Opuntias have a special something...
    Here is my favorite plant of the week in my garden :
    http://descubriendohojas.blogspot.com.es/2014/05/polygonatum-odoratum-es-mi-planta.html

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  11. Oh. My. Glochids. The light does catch them prettily, but it's not something I'd be keen to tangle with. But then my favorite this week is a bit spiny, too. http://www.practicalplantgeek.blogspot.com/2014/05/my-favorite-plant-in-garden-this-week_9.html

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  12. A good one - no idea Chenille Prickly Pear was the common name! I think I've even stumbled or fallen next to one, as this looks familiar from my old hikes and rides. To think how I'm now learning more about cacti from someone in Oregon than from being in the desert...

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