Putting The Act In Cactus

Two summers ago a rare thing happened that one of the backyard cereus cactus’ night-blooming flowers got pollinated. Rare, because though the flowers attract a variety of bee species, it’s usually only moths like the sphinx moth (or some nectar-feeding bats) that do the actual pollinating.

So, about 18 months ago when one of the flowers bloomed and died and a fruit was left in its place that grew and grew to about the size of a baseball (while avoiding being eaten by any industrious opossums or squirrels or birds) I decided to harvest it and save the seeds for planting. Separating the teeny seeds from the clingy viscous fruit proved trying, but I came away with a couple hundred of them that I kept in a container until I stuck a few of them in some dirt, with equal parts of doubt and hope that they’d ever sprout.

Nothing happened, and eventually I not only gave up on ever seeing baby cacti, I forgot entirely where I’d planted them… until they reminded me a couple weeks ago by sprouting (click for the bigger picture):

They were quite the pleasant surprise.

Published by

Will

Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with laonstage.com, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."