Bloom Watch #3

June 14, 2022

Quiet Repose

Bach’s Cactus Nursery’s resident Queen bloomed early last week. Tohono Chul volunteer and Bach’s Cactus employee, Astrid Randall, snapped a photo.

Chris Kibler, Tohono Chul Gardens Supervisor, says The Queen may bloom one week from now if the flower buds continue to grow at their current rate. He says the high heat and increased humidity is encouraging them. The buds are 40-50 mm long now. And yet, they could stall growth if it’s not the right time.

“If they are going to bloom, I will let everyone know,” says Chris.

We will share weekly updates with you all until Bloom Night.

Peniocereus greggi bloom at Bach’s Cactus Nursery

Desert View Trail Observations:

An orchestra plays,

Loud cicada trills in percussion and soft woodwind doves float on the breeze.

Palo verde, a twisting trunk chiseled by beetles, shelters the Queen from the bombardment of photons.

Fuzzy flower buds have grown. Almost ready.

Going farther along the sizzling trail,

Burrow refuges abound.

The lacy skeleton of an old prickly pear rests in the dust.

Beyond the silver and tan,

The green glow of acacia trees hints at an underground river. It hasn’t rained in 80 days here after all.

We must wait just a little bit longer.

A desert cottontail grooms in the shade of the log ramada.

An ornate tree lizard eyes me suspiciously.

Here, there are wedges of special moments,

Like summer fruit.

— Tracey Till, Retail Greenhouse & Propagation Associate, Tohono Chul