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Saturday, September 01, 2012

Almost ready to give birth!

Well not me but my toad cactus!
I have only had one blooming about 7 years ago from the plant that I took this start from.  The old plant got a fungus on it and I finally had to give up on it.  So this plant is about 4 years old.  This morning I could cup the biggest pod in the palm of my hand. Its about 4 to 5 inches long. 

Here is a picture of the old plant when it bloomed. The bloom measures 12 inches across and I wish you could feel it.  Sort of a cross between velvet and rubber.  But oh, the smell is terrible.

I have 10 good bloom pods on my cactus now.  About 5 tiny ones dried up.  I copied the following from a site that I looked up for more info.  There seem to be several varieties as some blooms are fat and more toad like.

  "Orbeas are a genus of succulent plants in the Apocynacea family, they're evergreen- leafless plants native to Africa. Starfish Cactus and Toad Cactus are misleading common names because this plant is not a cacti-it is a succulent. A better common name for this Orbea is Carrion Flower or African Carrion Flower."

From reading this article I learned that the smell of a "rotten mouse" is to attract flies to help pollinate the plant.  It also said that to get the blooms you need to let it get pretty dry during the winter then put in more sunlight (hot hot sun) and give more water in the spring to get it to bloom.  So guess I just accidentally did something right to get it to bloom.  I know I have killed some of my starts by watering them to much.
So there you have my Toad/star cactus which is not really a cactus.

1 comment:

MadCityMike said...

They are beautiful! With it being such a "fragrant" beauty, it is a good thing they don't bloom in the middle of Winter, eh? ;)