Peruvian Apple Cactus

cactus bloom with blooms to be seen in the background and blooms that were in the foreground.  photo by anders tomlinson.  05-03-14.  san dirgo, ca.
Cactus Bloom with Blooms to Be and Blooms that Were.
Cactus are the easiest plants to approach and that is by design. They are of the dry warm lands. They can persist during droughts and grow with adequate moisture. The past three years have been dry. The last twelve months have been the driest in record. This is late April. A strong hot wind has come off the deserts, over mountains and accelerating through canyons towards the Pacific Ocean. These winds usually occur in late October and November. This is late April. There is an unusual quantity of shoots or branches that will produce flowers on this cactus. I counted over 50 areoles on three stems.

two cactus blooms seen from front and back.  photo by anders tomlinson.  san diego ca. 05-03- 2014
A Head and Tale of a Cactus Bloom
This is a Peruvian Apple Cactus. The flowers will remain open only one night. There are no bees. It is possible that most bees have blown out to sea. it is strange to have open flowers and no bees. What good does this do? How does nature benefit. Will these flowers become Peruvian Apples?

closeup of cactus bloom.  photo by anders tomlinson.  san diego, ca.  05-03-14
Up Close and Personal
What happens if this cactus gives a party and no comes? Is it the end a world, at some level? Is the beginning on another level? Will this be judged as a wasted effort? And who dare be the judge? But wait, this is only the first night of what appears to be an extended event. Is a flower a flower be it with bees or not?

three views of a cactus with multiple night blooms.  photos by anders tomlinson.  san diego, ca 05-03-14.
The Magnificent Cactus Circus Has Arrived in the Night

• A Little Background on Peruvian Apple Cactus

The Queen of the Night blooms only in the night for one day.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.
24 hours in the bloom of the queen of the night
When the flower explodes open a sweet fragrance fills the night.
The photos above were taken on the evening of September 7 & 8, 2009.

The Queen of the Night flower falls off and a fruit begins to take shape.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson
From spectacular flower to colorful fruit
From what was a flower begins a long journey to be a fruit.
The photos above were taken in a period between September and October 2009.

peruvian apple cactus fruit being eaten on the stem,  -08-2008, san diego ca.  photos by anders tomlinson
Ripening on the Stem
The photos above and below were taken in October 2009.

peruvian apple cactus fruit being eaten on the stem and falling to the ground,  08 and 09, 2009, san diego ca.  photos by anders tomlinson
The Fallen Fruit is Eaten

• Epilogue
I was looking forward to eating the fruit of this Peruvian apple cactus.
Research indicated this would be a sweet treat, with a crunch – tiny seeds in the fleshy fruit. One would think with the number of flowers that there maybe abundant fruit. Alas, there was no fruit.

cactus flower falls off leaving what could be a feuit, san diego, ca.  photo by anders tomlinson
To Be a Fruit or Not Be a Fruit
This is a step closer to becoming a Peruvian Apple. The long dried flower
has broken off from the base of the areole.

Parts of the dried up cactus flower, san diego, ca. photo by anders tomlinson.
Pieces and Parts
Here are two areoles. On the left the base unit, potential fruit, has fallen a
week after the longer dried flower separated and fell. On the right the two parts
have fallen off the stem as one unit.

cactus flowers on the ground, san diego, ca.  photo by anders tomlinson.
Spent Cactus Flowers Drop to the Ground
And here the fallen flowers lay – abstract in their pattern and movement.

more cactus pags graphic

Meet the Cactus

Organ Pipe cactus bloom

Bees visit cactus flowers

Flowers Coming and Going

Sweet Tasting Cactus Apples

Twin Pipe Organ Cactus Flowers

©2014 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.