St. Patrick’s Day Cactus?

No, this is not the red-headed Irishman again. It’s our Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) blooming again in March.

Schlumbergera truncata in second bloom

Interestingly, the blooms were bright pink with just a tinge of peach when we bought it. Now they’re pale iridescent yellow with tints of peach and light pink. According to an experiment published in the British Cactus and Succulent Journal, flower color is influenced by temperature when buds are forming. Flowers that developed in a minumum temperature of 15°C were white, while 12°C resulted in some pink coloration. Even minute-long exposures to low temperatures resulted in some pink, while longer exposures led to a stronger pink coloration.

I have to wonder whether the cactus was grown in lower temperatures in the nursery (and grocery store—who knows how long it was there before we bought it) and then warmer temperatures in our sunroom before its second blooming.

Schlumbergera truncata in second bloom

And as a bonus, just this morning we spotted the emergence of a bud on our large Gymnocalycium. BudWatch 2015 has begun!

McMillan, A. J. S. “Colour development in Schlumbergera.” British Cactus and Succulent Journal 11.1 (March 1993): 18-19. Print.

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