elizabeth

12 Jan 2018 154 views
 
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photoblog image Magical Cactus Blossoms

Magical Cactus Blossoms

Cacus flowers are large and showy in many genera, with dozens of petals and stamens rather than just the 5 or 10 of each as one might expect of a dicot. All cacti, other than a few species in Pereskia, have an inferior ovary, but not merely inferior, they are spectacularly, superiorly inferior!

 

When you look at a cactus flower bud, you are not seeing any flower tissue at all except for the sepals and petals at the very tip; all the rest is vegetative stem and leaf, and the true flower parts are located inside. It is easier to comprehend that this really is vegetative tissue by realizing that these leaves typically bear clusters of spines in their axils.

 photoblog image Botanical Garden 31 b.jpg

 

photoblog image Botanical Garden 29 b.jpg

Magical Cactus Blossoms

Cacus flowers are large and showy in many genera, with dozens of petals and stamens rather than just the 5 or 10 of each as one might expect of a dicot. All cacti, other than a few species in Pereskia, have an inferior ovary, but not merely inferior, they are spectacularly, superiorly inferior!

 

When you look at a cactus flower bud, you are not seeing any flower tissue at all except for the sepals and petals at the very tip; all the rest is vegetative stem and leaf, and the true flower parts are located inside. It is easier to comprehend that this really is vegetative tissue by realizing that these leaves typically bear clusters of spines in their axils.

 photoblog image Botanical Garden 31 b.jpg

 

photoblog image Botanical Garden 29 b.jpg

comments (17)

  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 12 Jan 2018, 00:46
Cactus blooms are superb, as your image illustrates brilliantly.

What language are you using for your anecdote, Elizabeth? smile
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Aren't they?! Thank so much, Ray!

Flowery scientific flower anatomy speak, Ray!
What marvelous colors!
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Beautiful aren't they!
  • Steven
  • Chicagoland
  • 12 Jan 2018, 04:08
Gorgeous colors and clarity captured in these shots!
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thanks, Steven - I was lucky with the position of the sun!
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 12 Jan 2018, 04:33
Fabulous series, I went to the archives. I totally agree with you that cactus flowers are a delight. My mom had many cactus on her window sills (one was 7 feet tall) and with fabulous flowers.
Great pictures showing the flowers.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thanks so much, Astrid! I appreciate that you'd take the time to look back on the series. Cactus and succulents are a joy - hardy little things that don't require a lot of care!
This is fun, Elizabeth, and highly educational. BRAVA.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thanks so much, Ginnie! I'm glad you've enjoyed these!
  • Martine
  • France
  • 12 Jan 2018, 05:39
Quelles jolies fleurs ! J'aime beaucoup la deuxième photo.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Aren't they beautiful! Thank you, Martine!
  • Lisl
  • England
  • 12 Jan 2018, 06:01
I didn't know that, Elizabeth - thank you
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: You're very welcome, Lisl!
  • Chris
  • Not Nowhere
  • 12 Jan 2018, 06:27
Spectacular stuff Elizabeth, wonderful vibrancy too, I bet they don't last long..
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thanks so much, Chris! They often only live a day...
  • gutteridge
  • Somewhere in deep space
  • 12 Jan 2018, 07:09
I like the striped effect on this flowers petals.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: That's pretty neat, isn't it!
  • Alan
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 12 Jan 2018, 07:10
I'm impressed with your knowledge of this. To me, they are simply pretty flowery things. I like how you've composed this with the sun picking out the main bloom.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: At one time I thought I'd write a guidebook to Northern Arizona's wildflowers. A project long set aside.
Thank you very much, Alan!
J'adore les cactus et leurs fleurs si particulières et ephemères pour certaines ..
Très belles tes photos surtout la dernière
Bonne journée
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: thank you, Claudine - they are very special indeed!
Lovely shots, Elizabeth
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thank you, Tom!
Lovely close ups, Elizabeth.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thank you, My Love!
Three great images of beautiful flowers. Also the information is fascinating, somehow I feel I am back in the classroom 60 years ago smile
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thanks so much, Brian!
smile Didn't mean to take you to school.... but I, personally, find plant anatomy fascinating!
All spectacular shots. The bottom shot is my favorite
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thanks so much, Mary! I like that one, too!
  • Anne
  • United Kingdom
  • 12 Jan 2018, 14:40
What lovely images - at first glance I thought the top one might have been sea anemones.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thanks very much, Anne! I see why you would!
Here's something I can never photograph, too bad
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: We all have our things... smile

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