Follow that Flower

The San Pedro cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi, alsoknown as Trichocereus pachanoi), is a columnar, ornamental cactus, native to the Andes Mountains and found in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru.

It has been used for traditional and veterinary medicine, for healing as well as religious divination in the Andes Mountains region for over 3,000 years!  Here in Baja, it seems to grow like a weed; it is a super fast growing cactus and all you need is a limb (or a leg) of a mature clump of plants.

There’s a long row of “hedges” of this type of cactus growing along either side of the road here in Punta Banda, by Campo La Jolla, as well as in front of the horses that, together with their cowboys, wait every day for tourists to come and take them for a ride.

The other day, I must have seen hundreds of blooms adorning these otherwise boring cactus; it was as if one senior cactus (the oldest I guess) gave the signal to the others to open up all their gorgeous, voluptuous, trumpet shaped flowers, all at the same time.

It looked like a pure white symphony of songs, that only nature lovers would hear and see.  They seemed all to be showing off their magnificence, not only seducing the hungry bees, but also winking at the passersby – if only they would drive slowly enough to take in this brief expression of nature’s splendor.  But the walkers-by had a feast!

I went back a few days later to take more photos; alas, they were all done, poor droopy little things, probably drunk and dizzy from all that sensuous buzzing of the bees.

I am encouraging you to stop and admire these stunning cactus blooms when you see them along the side of the road.  The flowers don’t really smell, as Mother Nature decided they don’t really need that extra seduction to get their blooms fertilized.  I mean, look inside, real close, pretending to be a bee, and what do you see?  Likely enough to stop you in your daily tracks… and appreciate what nature offers us as an ongoing show, free admission.  You just have to stop and smell the flowers.

About Fleur

Fleur is a retired freelance Garden Writer, currently exploring Baja flora and living in Punta Banda. You may reach her at [email protected]

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