Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Cactaceae and their flowers: second part.

Two of the characteristics that best define the cacti are succulent stems that hold water and nutrients as extremely arid adaptation to the environment in which they live and the presence of protective spines which deter predators herbivores in most species and other stretch like wooly hairs and form a warm, silky coat that protects them from the scorching sun during the day and freezing cold typical of deserts at night, like some cacti of Patagonia.

Neobuxbaumia polylopha beautiful flower of Mexico (I recommend expanding this and the following photos with a double click to better appreciate the details)

Neobuxbaumia polylopha more than three meters high in the magnificent Botanical Garden of Soller in Mallorca with an interesting collection of cacti and succulents overseas.

Neobuxmania polylopha solitary flower, photographed in mid-September.

Long stem apex of Neobuxbaumia polylopha with numerous buds and flowers.

This image is a flower that bloomed and dry the night before and a floral bud that will open as soon as the sun sets and then dry at midmorning the next day, which reminds us that their pollinators are nocturnal, with most likely bats or moths.

  The plant zealously protects its flowers and fruits with numerous and formidable thorns.

lThe beauty of the structural design and color of the flower is unsurpassed.

Cleistocactus jujuyensis, called lamb tail, with their stems covered with a silky coat woolly spines, whose natural habitat is the desert of Patagonia, Argentina. The copy of the image is part of the magnificent botanical garden of palms and succulents called Huerto del Cura located in Elche city of Alicante.

 Opuntia aciculata floral bud opening in June.

Floral bud of Opuntia amyclaea a nice salmon. I recommend reading the article I wrote on this cactus: The crown of thorns of Medina Sidonia

With the passing hours Opuntia amyclaea petals are losing the salmon and acquire an intense lemon yellow.

Flower of Opuntia bergeriana with its petals of a bright red color. As seen in the background are also red fruits. It is part of the magnificent collection of cacti and succulents Ses Salines Botanicactus located in Mallorca.

Flower of Opuntia engelmannii in September. This cactus is called prickly pear of Texas, where it originates.

Another flower of Opuntia engelmannii accessed by its insect pollinator, a small bee.

Opuntia ficus-indica, also called Opuntia maxima, the typical cactus whose fruits are a real treat.

Flower of Opuntia inamoena from Brasil, photographed in May at the extraordinary Orotava Botanical Garden in Tenerife.

Detail of the reproductive system of the previous flower.

Flowers of Opuntia linguiformis starting to open their petals in mid-June.

As in Opuntia amyclaea, Opuntia linguiformis flowers in full bloom acquire an intense yellow color.

Two buds of Opuntia monacantha var. albovariegata in various stages of bloom.

 Flower of Opuntia monacantha var. albovariegata. The blades of this opuntia are stained white.

Detail of the reproductive system of the previous flower.

Flower of Opuntia picardoi in June protected by formidable thorns.

 Flower of Austrocylindropuntia subulata with many ants in this case function as pollinators, attracted by the gift of the sweet nectar of flower background.

Backlit beautiful pink petals of the flower before. This specimen grows feral  near the Oratory of Castellitx located in the center of Mallorca.

Cylindropuntia tunicata with showy flowers on a sea of ​​white spines.

One of the earlier flowers side view with the detail of the dangerous spines of a pure white.

Flower of Trichocereus grandiflorus, synonymous of Equinopsis huascha, of exquisite beauty and a very ephemeral life because only lasts 12 hours. This cactus is native to northwestern Argentina (provinces of Catamarca and La Rioja)

Reproductive system of the previous flower petals of bright red blood and flashy pistil with branched stigma closes once the flower has been pollinated.

Flower of other Trichocereus grandiflorus cultivar with the chalice covered with woolly hairs and petals of intense scarlet, photographed in mid-September. It belongs to the collection of cacti and succulents Soller Botanical Garden.

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