Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bringing Lotusland weirdness to Northwest Gardens

From the Seattle Times Home and Garden Section comes this observation about bringing a lush, "weird", succulent look to Northwest Gardens:
Hardy agaves and yuccas add spikiness and structure. There are even cactus that live through our winters if you provide good drainage, including the cartoon-shaped prickly pear (Opuntia cycloides).
I always like to see garden sections pointing out some of the succulent options for our area, but why be so limiting. There's so much more that's possible than yuccas and agaves and "prickly pear." And what's O. cycloides? I guess it's a variety of O. engelmannii. Though that name doesn't appear in Anderson's The Cactus Family, it does appear in a few limited on-line sites, but primarily as a variety. There are whole bunches of Opuntias which are hardy here. In our own neighborhood, I know of at least 8 different opuntias growing at people's homes (though I have no clue if any of them are O. cycloides).

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