I fully expected to be able to identify this cactus and dazzle you with the reason that it would bloom at this particular time of year, what insects or birds would be dependent on the nectar and pollen produced, blah, blah, blah.
But, I was brought to earth with a thud when I was unable to get Google to magically provide the information so I could impress you. So, I turn to you, my well-informed, intelligent knowledge base. Do you recognise this cactus, can you tell us its native country?
The single stem is very slim, well over 2 meters tall, and has to endure temperatures from -5 to +40 Celsius. It is an unusual plant to encounter here in Myrtleford, and is almost hidden in a corner of the communal garden.
The blossoms are so pretty and complex, and are held out from the main stem by what I’d call a branch, if this was a tree.
Two days after I happened to notice the first blossoms, they have faded and wilted. I hope some insects were able to partake of the exotic feast that was briefly offered.
So, which of you clever folks will be the first to tell us all about this wonder of nature?