The Most Beautiful Cactus Flowers
They say cacti produce the most beautiful flowers in the world, in stark contrast with their apparent repulsive appearance. A simple search on the web can easily confirm this conclusion, with the results showing under the disguise of exquisite floral bursts, in different shape and colors, full of vitality and freshness. If they are well taken care of, cacti can delight eyes in indoor spaces as well and, equally important, bear in mind they can make very fine presents, especially to someone in love with nature. Here is a brief review of some of the most beautiful cactus flowers, with images that speak for themselves about the ornamental potential of these flowers.
The first on the list is Agave cactus, a unique species because of the straight, finger-like protrusions from its main stem. These “fingers” are tipped with small clusters of spines that, in older specimens, can grow into a tangled, protective web on the top portion of the plant. A rich white-goldish flower, with long uniform petals, springs on top of this spine web.
They also call it the living stone and it goes without saying why looking at the picture below. But for the pink flower, this cactus would pass as just another boulder in an arid landscape. Ariocarpus fissuratus is an extremely slow-growing example of spineless cacti. Some of them can take up to 50 years to reach 10-12 cm in diameter. Since it is defensless, the cactus grows in hard-to-reach crevasses and similar locations and produces small amounts of psychoactive substances to prevent animals from eating it.
Discocactus also bears a suggestive name, probably stemming from its rich big flowers which grow in clusters, sometimes larger than the body of the plant itself. This is a demanding species of cactus, growing at elevations of 300-400 meters and needing water on a regular basis or else they rot or dry out.
Hylocereus undatus is a columnar species of cactus whose flower can exceed 35 centimeters in length and 23 centimeters across. This cactus blooms only at night, and each flower opens only once before seeding and becoming a dragon fruit or falling off and dying. The flowers give off an extremely potent vanilla fragrance that can be overwhelming if the flower is smelled directly.
Finally, Blossfeldia liliputana is a cactus, as the name suggests, which comes in small globular bodies with a diameter not exceeding 2 centimeters, making it the smallest cactus in the world. Therefore, they can be easily grown in terrariums and other small containers and displayed in any corner of the home. Flowering during the summer months, this cactus self-fertilizes and produces seeds that are so small they easily blend in with the surrounding rock and sand.
Here are some more pictures of blossomed cacti, in a unique show of colors, shapes and fragrances.
Sources: Listverse.com, Allpics4u.com