13 April 2008

Prickly Dreads



The prickly pears are making new pads now, lime green and shiny. Here's a close-up of a growing pad, which is actually an adapted stem. I love the crazy dreadlock-like growths on the new pads. These are "ephemeral leaves" and fall off as the pad matures. I think it's from these spots, called areoles, that the spines would also form (this is a spineless variety of opuntia).

On a non-gardening note, I was just checking out the line-up for ACL Fest this year. Beck, David Byrne, Antibalas, Neko Case, Band of Horses...it's going to rock!

6 comments:

Pam/Digging said...

Thanks for explaining about the ephemeral leaves on the spineless prickly pear. I'd always wondered what those were for and what happened to them.

Annie in Austin said...

I immediately noticed David Byrne's name on the list this morning and have been thinking wishful thoughts all day.

But Lee, I did not notice the prickly pear 'dreads' at all - better go take a look at my totally ignored cactus.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Lee said...

David Byrne! Very exciting. I saw him at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee. One of the best concerts ever.

Go find those dreads!

Diana said...

Very interesting - didn't know that. However, I did get to know one up close last week at Zanthan gardens when I was graciously given one and it "bit" me with teeny tiny splinter-like things that I had no idea were even on it! It's going to get planted and it can make it up to me by growing up to be beautiful like yours.

Annie in Austin said...

Lee, there were some dreads on the small amount of new growth on the overly shaded prickly pear. What surprised me was to see them on the new growth of the non-prickly Stapelia/carrion flower, a cactus relative. Thanks to you I knew they were epemeral leaves ;-]

Annie

Lee said...

Cool Annie! Glad I could offer a bit of new info...