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Author Topic: Alpine Cacti- Winter Emergence  (Read 4904 times)

Kristl Walek

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Alpine Cacti- Winter Emergence
« on: February 24, 2008, 09:15:48 PM »
These pictures were taken in May of 2006, just when they were emerging from under the ice and snow.

Escobaria vivipara is a tiny, clumping species and the most northerly-ranging of the barrel cacti, occuring in the Canadian prairie (to -45C). It has been long-lived in my garden, although I sometimes lose individual stems to rot after a particularly wet season.

Perfect in an open, exposed rock garden or trough...

so many species....so little time

Kristl Walek
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Maggi Young

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Re: Alpine Cacti- Winter Emergence
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2008, 11:29:37 PM »
I am captivated by Kristl's "frozen"  cactus pix. Of course, the flower colours are so striking in that season... who could resist them? I have noticed that cactus do seem to be appearing more often on the show benches.... they could never look as good as these en masse, though  8)
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Kristl Walek

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Re: Alpine Cacti- Winter Emergence
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2008, 12:03:49 AM »
Maggi, I had a series of about 30 pictures of the "unthawing"--like looking at time-stop photography....I did not want to bore everyone with those...even though they were fascinating to me.

By the way, I hope you all realized that I use the phrase *alpine* cacti in the loosest sense---(tiny and perfect for the rock garden or trough). These are not "alpines" in the traditional definition of the word---heck, they don't even live in the mountains---Escobaria vivipara shares space with scrub and cattle and snakes in flat-out, low-land prairie country.
so many species....so little time

Kristl Walek
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kirsitn

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Re: Alpine Cacti- Winter Emergence
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2008, 10:15:49 AM »
Cool pictures! How long time does it take for them to reach that size? I sowed this species 1 1/2 years ago, and they're still no more than 1 cm tall... But they do seem to have survived the winter outside so far.  :)
Kristin - Oslo, Norway

Kristl Walek

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Re: Alpine Cacti- Winter Emergence
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2008, 12:32:56 PM »
Decades, sorry to say- not something that would show up on the show benches quickly, at least not in it's old-age clumping stage.

They can take years and years to flower from seed as a single stemmed plant--for it to start clumping is years beyond that. This example is *not* "massed" in the traditional sense of "numerous plants being grows together" --it is growing from a single crown.

so many species....so little time

Kristl Walek
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kirsitn

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Re: Alpine Cacti- Winter Emergence
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2008, 01:17:16 PM »
Oh, well, it's good to know that I have something to look forward to when I retire in 30 years time...  :D
Kristin - Oslo, Norway

ChrisB

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Re: Alpine Cacti- Winter Emergence
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2008, 04:09:34 PM »
They are quite extraordinary Kristl, will you be able to take some with you if you move, or don't they like being shifted around?
Chris Boulby
Northumberland, England

Maggi Young

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Re: Alpine Cacti- Winter Emergence
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2008, 07:25:41 PM »
Hi, Kirstin, welcome to the Forum.  You are taking a sensible attitude to the wait ....after all, we are always being told to make forward plans for our retirement... and you did just that when you sowed the seed! 8)
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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kirsitn

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Re: Alpine Cacti- Winter Emergence
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2008, 10:40:19 PM »
I have to admit I'm not always that patient...  ::) But having cacti surviving the winter outdoors in Norway is great fun even if I can't expect to see any flowers for a long time.

Completely off-topic question to Kristl: What is the name of the lovely purple fern on the front page of your website? (Below the Ampelopsis berries.)
Kristin - Oslo, Norway

ruweiss

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Re: Alpine Cacti- Winter Emergence
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2008, 07:24:02 PM »
Hello Kristl, many thanks for these beautiful pictures of the hardy cactii, I was especially impressed
by the emerging Escobaria vivipara.For me it is marvelous how these plants can survive these cruel
conditions. I cultivate my small collection in pots and put them from october till february in my un-
heated Alpine house to protect them from the rain.Our winters are mostly too wet without snow
and these plants start to rot,but at springtime the enormous flowers are worth the effort.
Rudi Weiss,Waiblingen,southern Germany,
climate zone 8a,elevation 250 m

kirsitn

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Re: Alpine Cacti- Winter Emergence
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2008, 12:20:58 PM »
One more question now that spring is coming up: When should I remove the rain protection from my Opuntia?
Kristin - Oslo, Norway

Kristl Walek

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Re: Alpine Cacti- Winter Emergence
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2008, 09:43:43 PM »
Kristin, The winters are very wet here, but I have never covered my Opuntia.

It is always amazing to see them come out of their seemingly-dead, de-hydrated, flaccid state after they receive spring rains and some warmth. Here, the traditional last frost date is late May (although last year we had a frost in early June). The Opuntia are usually plump and standing up again sometime in June.

And here is the absolutely lovely Opuntia 'Crystal Tide'....
so many species....so little time

Kristl Walek
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Maggi Young

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Re: Alpine Cacti- Winter Emergence
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2008, 10:10:35 PM »
My goodness, that is glorious! Prickly ballerinas!
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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