Much hybridizing has been done with cacti in the related South American genera Echinopsis, Trichocereus and Lobivia. For a while, all of these plants were put into Echinopsis, and the hybrids are still usually called Echinopsis, This one is a Mark Dimmitt hybrid named ‘Cherry Red’, and the plant looks much like a Trichocereus, except for the brilliant flowers, which are a little on the orange side of red. The plant pictured has been in the Ruth Bancroft Garden for many years, and it has several intense episodes of flowering each year in late spring to summer.
Immersed in the Vivid World of the Echinopsis with @echinopsisfreak
To see more vivid time-lapse videos of Greg’s diverse echinopsis family, follow @echinopsisfreak on Instagram.
Three years ago, Greg Krehel (@echinopsisfreak) encountered a cactus that would change his life. “I’ve always loved cacti and succulents,” he explains. The sogginess of his hometown Miami, however, always killed his desert-loving plants.
All that changed with a cactus Greg selected at random from a local garden store. Not only did it survive—it thrived. “Moreover, the flowers it produced were knockouts,” he says. “Over six inches in diameter and an incredible mix of colors.”
After some sleuthing, Greg realized he was in the possession of an echinopsis, a genus of cactus that thrives in humidity. Not only that, there were hundreds of other varieties out there. “My single echinopsis acquired by accident was soon joined by 5… 25… 50… and now I’m at 100 other echinopsis species and hybrids.”
“My passion for the cacti themselves soon morphed into a passion for imaging them,” says Greg. Echinopsis flowers bloom in a day, and peak for only an hour or two. “Their brief existence pushes you to photograph the heck out of them.” Inspired by his videographer son, Greg began using time-lapse to capture his cacti’s blooms and quickly found a community of like-minded people on Instagram. “It’s just a kick sharing my passion for this super type of cactus.”
An assortment of very colourful cactus flowers which were open today! These are all hybrids, funnily enough. You can certainly see one of the advantages of growing hybrids - the boldness and intensity of the colours of the flowers. There are lots and lots of different named hybrids around and I think I’ve selected a lot of the brightest and pinkest! There are many much more subtly coloured hybrids in cultivation though. ;)
Rebutia ‘Candy Stripe’, xChamaelobivia 'Rose Quartz’, Echinopsis 'Romance’ (which got nibbled by snails, unfortunately) and Echinopsis 'Bourne Sunset’.
Some nice late Summer flowers, courtesy of a recent sunny spell. :) Echinopsis hybrid ‘Whirligig’ surprised me with it’s first flower, while Astrophytum capricorne competes for my attention by showing off a beautiful flower. Lastly Delosperma nakurense happily flowers away at the back of the greenhouse.