Cactus, Hardy – Opuntia, Echinocactus
The Cacti, as everyone knows, are plants with thick, fleshy stems covered with spines, for usually there are no leaves. The Opuntias, which are perhaps the most common ones grown in the northern states, have large and flat branches. They have many colored spines and exquisite flowers. The spines are black, brown, purple, yellow or straw colored and white, while the flowers are pale pink and yellow. The Comanche Cactus (0. Camanchica) has large yellow flowers and purple fruit. The Hedgehog Cactus (Echinocactus Simpsonii) is very small and grows into a globe with pale pink flowers. Other hardy Optunias are 0, vulgaris, 0. phaeacantha, 0. polyacantha, 0. arenaria and 0. Rafiaesquii.
UTILIZE. The hardy Cacti are used mostly in the rock gardens, although many of them are used in the borders and in dry, rocky places.
GENERAL. Cacti require a light, open and porous soil, containing lots of leafmold, loam and sand. There should also be enough lime present to keep the soil from souring. They need water in the Summer but not during the Winter. Plant them in full sun.
PROPAGATION. They are propagated by seeds and cuttings taken from the old wood rather than the soft stems.