Splendour, spikes surprises & sundance

Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.

Random, irrelevant quote from Aldous Huxley, who was possibly high at the time, due to LSD. Read on for evidence…

What a lovely surprise I got the other day. Well, two surprises actually. Firstly, while out doing some early morning perusing in the garden, I was delighted to discover that one of my Cactii. what I believe is a Echinopsis Spachianus (otherwise known as a Golden Torch Cactus), was in full flower and what a dramatic bloom it has!

Echinopsis Spachiana

Larger than my hand and sweetly scented like almonds it is simply magical. I had noticed chocolate coloured hairs forming, followed by an elongated furry, fluffy bud which swelled. This resembled some kind of freakish sci-fi fantasy. And now the short-lived flower has burst forth. This flower is magical in more than just appearance. While trying to ID it I found it contains mescaline, famous for natural psychoactive effects which Aldous Huxley described as ‘formless kaleidoscope-like distortions from light coming through the eyelids’.

But, before you consider trying to harness this LSD like power, you would have to negotiate through the treacherous, perfidious thorns. Definitely not for the faint hearted. Unless you are looking for an out of body experience, accompanied with pain!

The path to enlightenment, otherwise known as a Golden Torch Cactus

My second surprise was getting such an instant response from ‘Sundance’, despite him being buried in his computer. He promptly went out, took a look, gave a few “wows” and dashed back for his camera! Rarely have I been able to get such an instant response to anything that isn’t football related. Quite fortunate really, as this inflorescent only opens at night. and blooms for just a few hours. Here is the result…

Short lived splendour of Echinopsis Spachiana