They wait patiently for much of the year and suddenly their moment arrives. The flowering of the claret cup cactus, Echinocereus triglochidiatus, is one of the highlights of the spring flowering season in my garden. Did I once say I didn't like red flowers? Well, I changed my mind when I saw my first flowering claret cups.
The claret cup is native to Texas and unlike many cactus flowers, which only last a few hours, these stay open for several days. A second smaller clump is partly hidden my a purple skullcap which will take over the flowering in a few days.
It would have broken my heart if these cactus had succumbed to our monsoon summer and that extremely cold two days where temperatures dropped into the teens, but they came out of the wet weather unscathed. And when other plants were buffeted by the strong winds this week their flowers remained as perfect as when they opened.
Give this plant the right conditions and it is sure to wow you every year. Cold hardy, drought tolerant, slow growing, resistant to deer and rabbits, pollinated by hummingbirds. What more could you ask for. Lots more!
A May visit to Joy Creek Nursery
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