Argentine Giants

We saw the Argentine Giant cactus (Echinopsis candicans) for the first time at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden by accident last year. It bloomed the day we were there. Usually it blooms for only a day. Now that is a dreadful pity. Imagine flinging such beauty out there for one day! It is a cactus that is not native to the Sonoran Desert but many people plant and nurture it. It is a lot of work for a flower that blooms for about a day. Echinopsis Candicans is a large columnar cactus with huge fragrant flowers that typically open only at night. When the cactus is not blooming it looks sort of ugly with its large columns that droop to the ground.

When it blooms it does so to stunning effect. The first time we saw one blooming we were shocked.


One of our neighbors had one that bloomed a brilliant orange.


Another had one with lovely pastel shades. It is little wonder that I love cactuses about as much as orchids. I was in heaven. I believe these were also Argentine Giants but I am not sure. If anyone spots me making an error in flower identification please let me know.

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