“One of the two largest specimens that we grow in the cacti and succulents exhibit has bloomed. They are not exactly 100 years old, but a little more. They were included in the collections when the garden was founded in 1922, and they were no longer very small,” said garden worker Hana Ondrušková.
Echinocactus is one of the favorite species among growers. Thanks to its distinctive yellow thorns, it is nicknamed the golden ball, or the mother-in-law’s stool. It usually grows to a height and width of around one meter. It is rare in the wild, directly endangered, and thrives well in botanical gardens.
The relatively small, bright yellow flowers appear on older plants, reach four to five centimeters in diameter and are arranged in a circular ring at the top of the plant. Individual flowers open gradually and bloom only for one day.
In collections, ‘grusons’ usually flower for the first time at about 20 years of age if grown outside during the summer. However, the Brno plants are in the greenhouse all year round, so they took their time with flowering. The first flower appeared on the morning of August 24. It is not certain when the next one will open.
In the botanical garden, the regular exhibition of succulents and other exotic plants begins on Friday, visitors can also see echinocacti in the cactus greenhouse. In the largest greenhouse – the palm tree – the roof reconstruction is finishing.