Cacti and Orchids

Yesterday afternoon I took a few cacti portraits. I needed a few pictures that illustrated cacti features for a lab presentation today, and I’d much rather use my own pictures than the photos of others.

I wanted to get a macro shot of a cactus flower.


A cactus flower

Before I studied plants I never realized cacti flowered. That might sound pretty stupid, but it’s the truth. This shot would be much better if I had taken a tripod with me. There should be much more detail in the center of the flower (the androecium and gynoecium are not sharply in focus). Next time. . .

I also wanted a shot of glochids.



Glochids are small modified spines that are found on some cacti. They are the yellowish colored spines in the picture above. The brown part is an areole, the cream colored pointy things are spines. When I squint my eyes I see a daddy long-legger with a mohawk in desperate need of a suntan, but that’s just me.

I won’t subject you to the rest of my cacti pictures. But I did take a few shots of orchids while I was in the greenhouse that I’d like to share. Orchids are amazing.




With some plants, like a daylily for instance, I can process a spectacular flower quickly. The shape of the flower is predictable, so the color is the major variable to be accounted for. Orchids are different. They have many different intricate shapes and designs. And many of them have multiple colors or patterns on the sepals and/or petals.

Yes, flowers are definitely cool. In my book they rank right up there with cheesesteaks, baseball gloves, and guitars on my list of wonderful things.


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Filed under Horticulture, Photos

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