Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cactus with an Attitude

I love cacti.
There is something about their cute look and their deadly spikes. They make me want to touch them, it's almost impossible to look at them and suppress the urge to touch them. I know it's not just me who feels this way. I brought these little ones to Queensberry this Saturday and there have been numerous people staring at them and they all eventually touch them and go "ouch!". Yes, I am people watching at my shop and it's quite interesting.

Despite their simple appearance, cacti are very sophisticated creatures with many features that enable them to survive in a dry environment. According to wikipedia, the reason why they are shaped like a sphere or cylinder is because they achieve the optimal shape - a combination of the highest possible volume and lowest possible surface area - so that they reduce the surface area through which water can be lost by transpiration. Very impressive, indeed.

They are also flowering plants. I remember my mom's cacti. She started off with one cactus she got from her mom, my Grandma. And it started to grow and reproduce at a really rapid pace. So fast that five years later, her sun room is full of baby cacti. One day, we noticed that there were tube-like things growing out of these cacti. A few days later, these tubes became beautiful purple flowers. Their color was so vivid and striking, it was hard to believe that they came from the rather boring looking green domes of cacti. To be honest, I don't know what these little cacti will grow up to be... what color are their flowers? How big are they going to be? It's a secret only their new owners will get to experience...