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Friday, July 29, 2011

Pachycereus pecten-aboriginum

This picture is taken at Stanford university park, in Arizona Cactus Garden. Arizona garden is a little park in the park, about an acre in size, with a set of nice cactus and succulent plants growing in the ground. The garden was established in late 1800-s and for recent couple of decades was in neglect. With work started about 15 years back a group of cactus enthusiasts from Stanford university staff restored the garden to it's current state, keeping the original plan, but re-establishing most of the plants currently in there, with privately donated plants.
Conditions there are close to what cactus would encounter if left unattended. There is no winter cover provided, and only occasional summer watering. This way Arizona garden has a good sampling of plants that can be grown outside here in SF Bay Area with very minimal care.
It is also a good place to visit any season. Winter or summer, there is always something blooming there. And it is a place to be around plants that are bigger than anything people usually have in their possession, with all that sacred magic large plants have.
In this picture I was trying to get a proper impression of dagger-like spines of Pachycereus pecten-aboriginum, a Baja California plant that grows there. It is still a young plant of about 6ft tall and it does not yet look the way full grown plants of that species would. Here it does not get that Baja summer-oven heat, and it is exposed to eventual winter night frost that probably does not happen in Baja. But the plant is well and healthy.

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