Sunday, October 25, 2009
I went to Home Depot today to pick up a couple of household items - cleaning supplies, light bulbs and some replacement door knobs - small stuffs. Anytime I go to Home Depot, anytime of year, I check out the garden store. I just love plants, flowers etc., and they always have such wonderful offerings.
As we left the payment area, I glanced to my right I noticed plants, hanging plants and thought, gee I should go so if they have any deals. To my surprise and amazement they have a large display table of cacti. Big ones, little one, flowering one, spiney ones. Oh my, what an awesome sight! Can you guess; I absolutely love cactus plants. I have and have had a bunch of them for years now. My friends and family keeps me well supplied. I've been on this cactus appreciation for over 15 years. They are amazing and wierd, very easy to care for and just beautiful.
As I revel in the sight, I had flashbacks of the many cacti that I have had over the years. I couldn't help but to talk about it here. As I prepared to tell you about some of my favorite plants and flowers, I of course did my internet research just so I would give you accurate and useful information. I wanted to make sure that you could appreciate, if you are not as familiar with cactus and maybe fall in love with them too. I think they could become one of your favorites too.
I found so much information and organizations and networks on and about cactus. There is so much that I didn't even know, but I know I love them.
So what are they you ask? Well, The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition 2008 lists cactus as any plant of the family Cactaceae, a large group of succulents found almost entirely in the New World. A cactus plant is conspicuous for its fleshy green stem, which performs the functions of leaves (commonly insignificant or absent), and for the spines (not always present) of various colors, shapes, and arrangements. The plants vary from small, round globes to epiphytes, vines, and large treel like forms. The reduced leaf surface, the enlarged fleshy stem, which is well fitted to store water.
All cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. Simply put, what separates cacti from succulents are the organs that produce the spines, and some other characteristics specific to fruit formation, differences between dicots and monocots and a few other differing charcteristics. All this stuff, I didn't know and it didn't prevent me from collecting and caring for them. I like all kinds of cactus. I like them flowering or just with spines. A word of caution, be careful of the spines. You should wear a glove when you tend to them as it is very unpleasant to get pricked or get the needles broken into your fingers.
There is an internet mall for cactus. The Cactus Mall website lists information for growers and others, I think, that provides a wealth of information and resources. I like the plant magazine. Every other month members receive the full-color Cactus and Succulent Journal , which is said to be widely regarded as the best and most authoritative periodical on succulent and xerophytic (dry loving) plants. Another great resource on the Mall is Matts Landscape website. Check out his cactus gallery. Its breathtaking!
I hope you will check out the links and go get your cactus!