Cactus Fruit

peruvian apple cactus in bloom, flowers and fruit, san diego, photos by anders tomlinson
The Fourth and Fifth Waves of Flowers Stretch Into Fall –
2014 has been an unusual year in the garden, especially for the Peruvian
Apple Cactus. Flowers because to sprout in the first months and have continued
through October. Normally they have a couple of flower waves, sometimes
only one wave, between May and August

peruvian cactus apple on plant, san diego ca.  photo by anders tomlinson
Soon This Cactus Apple Will fall to the Ground –
The first three waves produced no cactus apples. This year I looked forward
to tasting the fruit. Most reviews I read indicated they were a treat.

peruvian cactus apple harvest, san diego, ca., photo by anders tomlinson
It Is Harvest Time In the Garden –
Few flowers in the fourth wave did not produce fruit. I wasn’t sure how
to prepare the fruit for eating. I waited until they split open while still
on the cactus. The first apple i immediately pealed the skin off, washed
with water, and cutup into slices for my noon bowl of yogurt and sunflower
seeds. The knife sliced through the cactus apple as if it were a cucumber.
It obviously had a high water content. The first bite was crisp, wet and sweet,
a little like watermelon. For desert people, before the Europeans, this
must have been a blessing. I ended up picking the fruit off the cactus
and letting it sit in the refrigerator, or on the table, for several days
before eating. It is fun to eat food you have watched grow.

cactus arms growing and fallen, san diego, ca.  photos by anders tomlinson.
From Nothing They Come and To Nothing They Go –
The largest Peruvian apple cactus in the yard produces nearly 200 flowers
and possibly 50 fruit this year. At it’s base shriveled decaying flowers
piled up. And the flowers kept coming. October was the first month there
was no new sprouts.

bud starts on peruvian apple cactus, san diego by anders tomlinson,
From Modest Beginnings Great Things Are Born –
This is how the flower begins: spine to nub to flower to hopefully fruit.
evolution keeps strange bedfellows and creates complex systems. Here,
we have something simple and an universe unto itself. Was it as elementary
for stars being created? Or is it elementary?

2 peruvian apples cactus in different stages of flowering, san diego, ca., photos by anders tomlinson
Cactus Are A Tenacious Lot That Survive Where Little Else Can –
2014 was a difficult year for for several trees and bushes in the garden.
Many were planted thirty years ago when Southern California modeled itself
off of European gardens. Many evergreens were planted that could not survive
in warm climates. Two trees died in the garden. Others are compromised.
And the cactus flower like crazy. The cactus on the left-hand side in the
above photo are in the southeast shaded corner of the yard. On October
13, 2014 the only flower developing was on the yellowish column. The 2014
wave of Peruvian apple cactus flowers seems to be coming to an end.

peruvian apple cactus with bee, san diego, ca., photo by anders tomlinson
It Takes A Community To Make the Magic Happen –
Teamwork, unspoken, but deliberate, takes place everyday in a garden.
Organism in the soil, air, and the plants never sleep. Chemical reactions
are an endless parade. Bees make it all worthwhile. Celebration.

more cactus pags graphic

Meet the Cactus

Organ Pipe cactus bloom

Bees visit cactus flowers

Peruvian Apple cactus bloom

Sweet Tasting Cactus Apples

Twin Pipe Organ Cactus Flowers

2014 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.