Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Sunday Selections #152

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim, of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files. 

The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.

Like River, I generally run with a theme.  We have some cacti in a pots (rather a lot of cacti) on the front veranda.  The largest are prickly pillars which bite the unwary.  And are kept because every so often they flower spectacularly.  A flower which is bigger than my hand, scented, and lasts a day or two.


And this year, for the first time in more than ten years, we got not one flower, but two.  Embiggening will give you some of the stamens in their glory.







93 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. fishducky: Aren't they? A delight whenever they happen.

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    1. Delores: The scent is special too. Delicate, not overpowering and an unexpected treat.

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  3. My brother, when we were kids, loved to grow cacti...he had pots and pots of them. And years later one of our neighbours in Toowong, Brisbane had a whole greenhouse full of them. They're such a fascinating species.

    Have a wonderful Sunday, EC. :)

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    1. Lee: We have a few, and succulents too. No greenhouse. Yet.
      Have a wonderful day and week.

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  4. Gorgeous ! So pretty and I love cactus

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    1. Kim @ Stuff: I like them too. And the contrast between the spikes and the flowers is dramatic.

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  5. Huge flowers and so pretty.
    Merle..........

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  6. Waiting for the blooms to open must have been exciting.

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    1. Andrew: It was. We had almost given up hope of them every blooming again. Seeing the bud(s) was wonderful. Short-lived, but a delight.

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  7. I kept cactus for many years and loved their infrequent blooms. Nothing like that, ever!

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    1. Joanne Noragon: None of our other cacti bloom in such a spectacular fashion. I don't think the others are scented either.

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  8. Woooooow......it's like The Day of the Triffids there! Magnificent stuff, I remember Pa having a few giant cacti around the house when I was growing up, ma hated them, but he swore they'd bloom one day...one of them did, but twas just two tiny white flowers, she was highly unimpressed and managed to kill them all 'by accident', an accident where they ended up in the dustman's van as he drove off. This did not go down well with Pa as you can imagine. Is it any wonder I'm so 'special' hahahaha. Love yours though, stunning. x

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    1. All Consuming: Both of us have cursed this one. It has vicious spikes, and leaves fine hairs in your flesh to itch and get inflamed. Worth it (this year).

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    2. Personally, I admire plants that are capable of mild forms of violence. (Admittedly, I prefer not to have their spikes directed in my flesh.) And I admire this gorgeous flower! There are few things more exciting in the plant world than a flowering cactus!

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    3. Paper Chipmunk (aka Ellen): These cacti are capable of more than a little violence. If snagged, there will be pain - and probably an infection. And the flower makes it worth it.

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  9. Does Australia have any native cactii?

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    1. Snowbrush: No native cactii. Which is a bit surprising. Imports seem very happy here though.

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  10. Wow! What a beauty, and to get TWO of them in one year. I call that lucky. :-)

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    1. DJan: We have NEVER had two blooms in the one year. We thought we were lucky too. Very lucky.

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  11. I don't really like cacti but they produce some stunning flowers.

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    1. J Cosmo Newbery: They do seem to fall into the love or hate category. These are very special blooms though and well worth the barren years.

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  12. Oh! I gasped in delight and admiration!
    What a wonderful (post) Christmas surprise.

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    1. Vicki: So did we. I hadn't seen the bud, so the first bloom came as a total shock. And I woke his high and skinniness up to tell him about it.

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  13. Fantastic blooms! In another life I had a whole glasshouse full of cacti and succulents (glasshouse necessary in the Wellington climate), and they still intrigue and fascinate me. Mr A says it's inevitable that I should like them - they're prickly and stand-offish, just like me :D

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    1. Alexia: Prickly, stand-offish and so very rewarding for those who can appreciate them.. Which doesn't sound like a bad description at all.

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  14. Beautiful. That is one thing about cacti, they have fantastic flowers.

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    1. Teresa: They do, but most of our other cacti have small flowers. Very small.

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  15. Oh wow, those are just beautiful. Now they sell at Winco foods cactus um, do they call them leaves? Complete with spines. People eat them, but I never have, but I've thought about trying them. I heard people eat some flowers from cacti also, but maybe that is just something I heard.

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    1. Strayer: I know people eat the leaves and the fruit from prickly pears, and suspect that more of them are eaten too. A bit of a pain (probably literally) to prepare though.

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  16. Oh! Memories! I had an old one of these in the front garden at a rental home back in the 90s. My mum came to visit and told me to watch out for the flowers, they flower once a year with one or two flowers that last only a day.
    So I watched and waited...this plant was huge and in due course I was able to send my mum a photo of it almost completely covered in flowers just like yours. They didn't last long, maybe 4-5 days, with blooms dying off as new ones opened. so you can look forward to more fabulous flowers as the plant grows older and larger if it is the same plant. Certainly the flowers are the same. Wish I'd had a computer then.

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    1. River: Covered in blooms? How amazing. I would love to see that. Ours doesn't flower every year - it has been more than ten since last it flowered. Which makes the blooms even more exciting.

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    2. This was 18-19 years ago now, if I could remember which month it flowered, I'd go back and see if it is still there. It's a couple of bus rides away across the city, but I remember the address.

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  17. They look like our night blooming cerius which grow here on the rock walls of the president's high school. People have been really great about the Obamas being here for Christmas. Real Aloha - even the "Polar Bear" protesting the pipeline.



    ALOHA

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    1. Cloudia: They do indeed look like your night blooming cereus. If they aren't the same plant they are certainly a close cousin.
      I am glad that the Obamas have been able to have a holiday. Such a stressful job...

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  18. I left a comment this morning but I knew it hadn't bulk she's ~ now what did I say? Something about I like how you never know what colour a cactus will flower for that first time and it is such a surprise when it does. Such hard work on the part of a cactus to display so few flowers, but I suppose that's not their purpose in the world ~ to look beautiful.

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    1. Carol in Cairns: Perhaps looking beautiful should be their purpose - because this one nails it when it is in bloom.

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  19. Hi EC. What a wonderful bloom. perhaps now that it has given you 2 blooms it will bloom even more frequently now. hay a joy to look at. 'May I wish you a VERY HSPPY NEW YEAR and may it br filled with many surprises.

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    1. Margaret Adamson: It would be lovely if it did bloom more frequently. I live in hope. A very Happy New Year to you and yours too.

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  20. Wow, are those (cactus and flowers both) as enormous as they look from here? Kinda freaky.... but beautiful too of course.
    Surprised to learn from reading the comments that Australia has no native cactii. You'd think we have the perfect environment for them.

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    1. Jackie K: They are largish. The flower is bigger than my hand (and I don't have dainty hands). The pillar itself on the cactus that is blooming is probably a bit over three foot high.

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  21. Phil and I (he is sitting just beside me right now) both oohed and aahed at those delightful cactus blooms. I commented on the little claw like appendage near the bottom of the flower and he said it would be the pistil. Would that be correct as I think the smaller yellow bits are the stamens?
    Thank you for once again sharing a wonderful Sunday Selection.

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    1. Mimsie: I am glad that you and Phil liked it - and yes he is right. Aren't they beautiful blooms?

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  22. "prickly pillars which bite the unwary" - I just loved that description. I'd like to line my garden path with them!

    It looks fantastic, all the more so for being so rare. You really appreciate it when it finally flowers. A bit like a cat really, isn't it? It will flower in it's own time, when it's good and ready to... It's a deliciously lovely, waxy translucent flower.and so much detail in the stamens. Nature is a fantastic thing.

    I've never grown cactus. Well, I did have a few zygocactus (I think they were called Christmas Cactus, but don't quote me on that...) that had pink and red flowers every year. And then there were a hanging species called "donkey tails" but that might be a succluent rather than a cactus.

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    1. Marie: They are vicious beasties when they are in attack mode. And as well as the main thorns (rather a lot of them) they also have miniscule hairs which break off and itch. Rather a lot. A good tool for repelling boarders.
      Nature is indeed a wonderful (and capricious) thing. Again, a bit like a cat.

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  23. what a huge and beautiful flower from that cactus, beautiful

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    1. Linda Starr: Isn't it? And it is over for the year now. Fingers crossed for next.

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  24. The flowers are beautiful but you have a well of patience that's missing inside of me! Those prickly things don't bloom often enough for my tastes and I've been stabbed by them enough to stay out of their way. :)

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    1. River Fairchild: Patient? Or lazy. They are in set and forget mode. Unless they stab me.

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  25. Haha, I couldn't help personifying the flower.

    Close-up... close-up... close-up... embarrassed, she turns away.

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    1. John Wiswell: Nice to see someone on the cacti's side. Photographers, plant papparazzi, are sooooo intrusive.

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  26. Thank you for giving me flowers in Winter, dear S.

    Xxxxxx LOVE in 2014.

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    1. My Inner Chick: It is my pleasure to give you flowers. All year. Each year.

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  27. Love cactus flowers, they are so much more...refined, delicate, precious when they are so brief.

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    1. Jayne: Beautiful, short-lived, worth waiting for.

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  28. Replies
    1. Boris Estebitan: Thank you - and to you and yours.

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  29. And skilfully avoiding any predictable puns, I just wanted to mention, that those cactus photos bring up several points. And flowering cacti, I wish ours would flower. I shall now embiggen the large prickly thing :)

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    1. klahanie: No puns, and only a little word play? Are you feeling ok? Or have you been kidnapped?
      Have a wonderful day.

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  30. Cacti have the most amazing flowers.

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    1. diane b: Welcome and thank you. This is a stunner isn't it?

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  31. Wow! Amazing. What a wonderful world we share.

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    1. Kim: So much beauty. Which makes my heart sing.

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  32. What a lovely flower. Wishing you a wonderful new year.

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    1. ladyfi: Thank you. And a wonderful new year to you and yours too. Not forgetting Oscar.

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  33. "Embiggening will give you some of the stamens in their glory." That sounds hilariously perverse!

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    1. Riot Kitty: It does doesn't it? Which is fine. Laughter is always a bonus. And sex organs, even those of plants, can indeed have a touch of the perverse about them.

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  34. I had a cactus for years and never knew it would bloom. All of a sudden - it grew an appendage which burst into bloom one day. Like yours - it got two blooms one year. Cactus flowers are so beautiful, I think.

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    1. Lynn: This cactus (or its parent) flowered first for us many years ago. We knew it could, but it doesn't often. When it does, it is worth the wait. So worth the wait.

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  35. How wonderful. I can smell it from here.
    Happy New Year, E.C.

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    1. Relatively Retiring: Such a subtle, beautiful and unexpected perfume. We have other cacti which flower, some of them regularly, but none of the others scent the air.
      And a happy, healthy New Year to you and yours.

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  36. So grateful for the sunshine and warm soil
    in these images......they toast my chill
    and give me hope. Thank you:)
    -Jennifer

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    1. Jennifer Richardson: You are more than welcome to some of our sunshine. Help yourself, take as much as you need. Take more.

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  37. WOW! Those flowers are spectacular!!!!

    By the way, EC, I have no idea what day it is. I'm totally screwed up on that point, what with not working and Christmas being mid-week and such. I saw your Sunday Selections on my blogroll and thought, "Geez, that EC is early this week!" Then I realized it's Monday and this was yesterday's post and ... Oh, I'm completely flummoxed. I hope they have flowers like those in the retirement home I'm sure I'll be attending....

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    1. Cathy Olliffe-Webster: It is Tuesday afternoon here. New Year's Eve. And I have been having more than a little trouble with the days myself.
      I suspect that most retirement homes don't feature cacti. Probably more out of concern for the staff than for the residents/

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  38. My husband had a cactus of over 30 years until it finally bloomed!

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    1. Birdie: It is truly lovely to see you here. Thank you. Did he think the wait was worth it?

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    2. He did! It was kind of cool because his mom had died a few months before and it felt like she was sending her love. It gave his peace.

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    3. Birdie: How lovely. It is wonderful when things like that happen.

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  39. Lovely pictures! I bought a cactus and was AMAZED at its vivid red flowers...that did not die. They lasted for about 2 years -- until I knocked the cactus and one of the glued-on flowers fell off. Sigh. I had no idea.

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    1. Ms. CrankyPants: That is sneaky. And unfair. And funny.

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  40. What a gorgeous blooming bloom! Happy New Year! Thanks heaps for commenting on Beep's blog!

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    1. Karen: And a happy new year to you and yours too. Beep has a keen eye, and has obviously learnt much from you, it was my pleasure to view her photos.

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    1. wordsfallfrommyeyes: It was. And a happy New Year to you and Daniel.

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  42. First happy new year to all... nice blog.we provided best plants and gift baskets so please contact us...

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    1. jhonson avram: Thank you. I don't accept advertising on my blog, so please don't use it that way.

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