Sunday, May 15, 2011

Schick Hybrids from Huntington Botanical Gardens

How to describe how incredible a "Schick" hybrid is? And no, it's not a razor for shaving! A schick hybrid is an Echinopsis cactus with stunning, showy flowers throughout the spring and summer. We purchased a few for our own garden at the 2011 Huntington Library Annual Plant Sale and during this time, it wasn't in bloom. It would have been SO easy to just pass by these lackluster cacti unless you knew how incredible the flowers would become. See the pictures below to see what I mean:

Echinopsis Schick Hybrid:
"Don Juan"

Echinopsis Schick Hybrid:
"Spring Symphony"

Echinopsis Schick Hybrid:
A few of our little wee ones have flower buds and I'm about ready to sit outside to watch them bloom! Win's intention is to get these little babies into the ground once our yard is ready for 'em. However, I did request for one of them to be a part of my courtyard haven. :)

From the website:
"The Schick hybrids are derived primarily from crosses of Harry Johnson’s Paramount hybrids,created in the 1930s and 40s, and from successive crosses of their progeny. Like the Paramount hybrids, the Schick hybrids can flower several times in a season and, with increasing age, can produce greater numbers of flowers. Under the Huntington’s growing conditions the first flush of flowers is typically in April with successive flushes occurring in May, June and July, and, in some hybrids, even into August, September and October. In our shade house, some stray flowers have been recorded for every month of the year. "
From Desert Gardens by Gary Lyons:
"When fully establish they will be one of the most colorful cactus displays ever planted. The hybrids were developed and meticulously documented over the past twenty years by Robert Schick, who began to make hybrid cactus crosses to create sensational floral color. The Schick echinopsis hybrids are introduced yearly through the Huntington;s International Succulent Introductions and are popular at the Annual Plant Sale. The intensely glowing oranges, reds, and yellow hybrid echinopsis flower in the spring through early summer; the blossom event is unparalleled in the history of the garden."

Our little collection:

Fortunately, for the out-of-state fan, these cacti are for sale at the following website. I think it's rather hard to navigate to from the main site so it's a bit like internet treasure hunting!
ISI Schick Hybrids:

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