About Us

Activities

Programme

Mike's Blog

Members'
Blogs

Volunteers'
Blog

Members'
Area

The Garden

Contact Us

 

Mike's Blog - Day 65

This is Opuntia santarita, the Santa Rita Prickly Pear. Flowers on cacti are generally quite short lived, just a few days, as they are too delicate for the harsh conditions. It’s a popular one as its pads develop a violet colour.

Here is a close-up of the Opuntia flower.

Opuntia is farmed in Mexico and allowed to become infested with a small scale insect. This is the Cochineal scale insect, and the female ones are crushed to make the red food dye by the same name.

On the right of the main picture is a plant with a thorny stem and its leaves are tucked in between. That’s a rare thing, Alluaudia ascendens, one of 6 species and all endemic to Madagascar. The leaves are tucked in so the Lemurs can’t eat them.