A year ago this week I was short-cutting through the garden section of my local Lowes when I ran across a rack of little 4″ Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii) all marked down to $1 and slated for the dumpster that evening. Other than being unmarked and a little abused, they looked fine, so I grabbed a dozen and gave all but one to friends and family over the holidays.
The one I kept joined some of my other plants under the skylight in the family room and proceeded to happily grow throughout the year. A couple of weeks ago it started to show signs of flowering, but it wasn’t until yesterday morning that it decided to start the show.
And boom! There it was, half a dozen lipstick red flowers giving the Christmas decor around it a run for its money. Better yet, as the flowers have opened, they’ve revealed a candy-stripe pink and white interior, stamens on translucent pink filaments and capped with bright white anthers.
If you look at flower from the top, it’s almost as if the stamens are casting light back on the petals like a pink lampshade. That’s interesting because the flowers are downward-facing so the only way to see this is in nature would be from below.