White Sands Claret Cups Cactus Flowers

White Sands claret cup cactus flowers.

From the public gardens I frequent to take many of my photos, the advent of blooming cactus flowers is something I look forward to. Admittedly I’d say they are some of my favorite flowers to photograph. With such a short window of time to capture them, it’s so worth the effort even if it can be a bit precarious!

The First Cactus Flowers to Bloom in Spring

White Sands Claret Cups appear to be the first of the cactus flowers to bloom come late spring. Their little buds move into gear once it starts warming up. As for their name, I learned that via the gardens grounds-keepers. It’s always great to pick their brains as they are a wealth of knowledge.

Echinocereus White Sands Claret Cup cactus flowers with long spines
White Sands Claret Cup cactus flowers opening in the morning sun.

These cactus plants in general seem to be clustered closer to the ground. Perhaps this is why they bloom sooner? Other varieties I’ve observed in the gardens bloom later.

The color of the White Sands flower blooms is a bit different. Some are a softer, peachy white others more of an orange color – as seen i the adjacent photo.

The flower centers are shaded differently from their more vibrant red claret cup brethren.

The softness in color of these White Sands claret cups certainly does NOT negate the pointless of their spines!

I’ve learned that the hard way when trying to get up close and personal to take their photos. Thankfully now I use more preventative measures. A thick garden pad has become my cactus flowers photo-taking ally. It beats plucking cactus spines out of my body parts!

Keeping Colorful Company with Purple Allium

White Sands claret cups cactus flowers with purple Allium flowers in background.
White Sands Claret Cups with purple Allium in the background.

The gardens are currently awash with the big purple pom pom heads of blooming Allium – (aka ornamental onion flowers). It’s literally like a rolling sea of them. The various shades of purple of their dainty star-like flowers.

It’s no wonder coming across these cactus flowers keeping colorful company is so lovely. The blooming purple Allium makes for a striking backdrop!

Getting the shot can be tricky for sure. I refer back to the garden pad mentioned above…

People often walk past as I’m taking these photos. Initially they wonder what I’m doing laying so close to the ground? But then they see the flowers – which they may have otherwise walked right past, and it brings a smile to their face 🙂

Cactus Flowers Amaze Me

White Sands claret cups flowers opening to the morning sun.
White Sands Claret Cups flowers with their deep coral colors.

Getting to know these little cactus plants has been really fun. Cactus flowers truly amaze me!

After several seasons of observing their bloom cycles, I know where to look first. And it’s always a pleasant surprise when I find new cactus plants – ones that may not have bloomed the season before.

If it were not for their colorful flowers, they’d be easy to miss among all the garden plants.

If you find yourself at a garden or a desert landscape where cactus flowers may be blooming, keep your eyes open for these little fellas.

Observe how something so beautiful can bloom out of something so harsh looking!

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