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Last weekend, my husband and I went away to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary.  We’d been looking forward to leaving kids and work behind and spending time alone eating great food, sleeping in and long walks enjoying beautiful surroundings.   

30 years ago

Now with past anniversary milestones, my husband would give me a piece of jewelry, and you would think that being married for 30 years would be marked by maybe a ring or necklace, but I wanted something else for this milestone anniversary.


Last month, one of my blog followers sent me a photograph of his stunning torch cactus (Trichocereus/Echinopsis hybrid), ‘Flying Saucer’.  Ever since I saw the brightly-colored flowers of this cactus, I knew that I wanted one for my garden.

Since our anniversary trip was to take us through the city of Tucson, we planned a short diversion to B&B Cactus Farm.

As we pulled up to the nursery, I was hoping that they had a ‘Flying Saucer’ torch cactus just for me.
These cacti are native to South America and do very well in the desert Southwest.  Their large blooms come in many different colors and often repeat throughout late spring and summer.


Walking through the cactus nursery, there was a large number of agave, cacti, and other succulents, which were somewhat distracting me from my mission to find the section where the torch cacti were located.

Finally, I found them!


Some were in full bloom like this ‘Blood’ variety.


Toward the entrance, they had the larger specimens including a few large ‘Flying Saucer’.  


There were also some other hybrids as well.


It was hard to believe that even the younger torch cacti could produce the large, colorful flowers.


The blooms last only a day, but there are often multiple blooms.


At this point, I should mention that while I appreciate many different types of cacti and use many in my designs, I only have a few in my landscape.  


But, because I love flowers, I wanted to make room for one of these lovely cacti.

It is hard to believe how these cacti, that blend into the background throughout most of the year, are completely transformed by these breathtaking blossoms.

Now, back to my decision.  As you might have expected, I was tempted by the other varieties of torch cactus.  While they did have the ‘Flying Saucer’ one that I wanted, they only had a few large specimens.  So my choice was to buy one large one or two smaller torch cacti for less money.


I elected to buy a smaller ‘Ember’, which looked similar to the ‘Flying Saucer’ and I picked the ‘First Light’ since I love pink flowers.


As we drove away, I looked back at my new torch cactus in the back seat thinking that I couldn’t wait to plant them when we got home.  My husband smiled and said, “You never cease to surprise me, choosing cactus to mark our 30th anniversary rather than jewelry”.

We had a wonderful weekend together, and my torch cacti will be planted this week.  I’ll be sure to show you pictures of their blossoms.  Have you ever seen a torch cactus or perhaps, have one yourself?

For more information on these cacti and their beautiful flowers, click here.