Our neighbor down the street has several varieties of cactus planted in the borders around her home. Our park has a Facebook page and she always sends out a notification about when her Echinopsis (aka Hedgehog Cactus or Easter Cactus) is about to bloom. The reason she does this is to give us flower enthusiasts a heads up because the blossoms last less than 24 hours.

There are apparently 128 species of Echinopsis and the plant ID feature in my native photos app tells me this one is Echinopsis Oxygona, native to Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina.

Usually, this little clump sends up its blossoms after the Winter Texans have returned home for the summer and I’ve always been sad that I’ve missed it.

This year, it bloomed early, and guess what … I still missed the first flush of blooms because I hadn’t checked the park Facebook page for several days, nor did I walk that day.

The next day, I walked over and took a photo of the spent flowers because that’s all that was left for me to see. It was still intriguing to see how tall and large the blossoms were that arose out of the little fuzzy balls (each one no bigger than my thumbnail) that you see in my feature photo. Apparently, those fuzzy little balls – known as hairy buds, will all produce another flush or two of blossoms over the summer.

I was happy that our neighbor caught a photo of the open blooms, on her plant so I could show you.

Photo Credit: Marlene Shrader

Photo Note: I took my feature photo into Snapseed and just did the usual white balance adjustment as well as image tuning for exposure. In my neighbor’s original photo, the blossoms were extremely blown out, so I did a considerable amount of post processing to try to get some structure and detail back into them.

“The desert works constantly to forbid it, and still the cactus blooms.”

Uma Gokhale