What enticed me into Ruth Bancroft Garden in April was passing this cactus just outside the gate. An Echinopsis "Afterglow" - named by Ruth Bancroft years ago (she lived to be 109 and established the Garden circa 1951 - see Wikipedia) - was in full bloom, four six to eight inch flowers on two "stems" (more like trunks) and two below.
The flowers last four to eight days, and then fruit appears as you see in this image. This was the fourth bloom, as spectacular than the first: there were two more blossoms on a lower trunk. This cactus will go through up to six flowerings during the season, April to September.
Echinopsis is a large genus of cacti native to South America, sometimes known as hedgehog cactus, sea-urchin cactus or Easter lily cactus. The 128 species range from large and treelike types to small globose cactuses. The name derives from echinos hedgehog or sea urchin, and opsis appearance, a reference to these plants' dense coverings of spines. Somebody was drinking heavily when they made that "observation."
They are remarkable for the great size, length of tube, and beauty of their flowers, which, borne upon generally small and dumpy stems, appear much larger and more attractive than would be expected.
Tags: Echinopsis large flowers 2-6 blooms a season April-September R. Bancroft named this 'Afterglow' 128 Species photographed at Ruth Bancroft Garden northern California Canon SX5t0 Copyright Ethan A. Winning