The Gardener’s Guide to Cactus: The 100 Best Paddles, Barrels, Columns, and Globes by Scott Calhoun
The Gardener’s Guide to Cactus reveals how easy, hardy, and rewarding cactus can be for home gardeners. Succulent plant expert Scott Calhoun picks 100 of the best cactus available and shows how they can make striking additions to your garden. Information includes advice on planting and care, tips for growing in containers, and details on identify and avoiding pests. Whether you want striking form, gorgeous flowers, or a low-maintenance plant for a spot that needs little or no supplementary water, you’ll find it in this friendly, informative, and eye-catching guide.
Calhoun lovingly showcases cactus, some generations old, with informative text and stunning photos. A wholly New World family of 2,500 species, cacti photosynthesize with stems and, unlike 90 percent of plants, do so at night, dramatically reducing water loss. Organized by morphology, the shape of the plants, Calhoun’s guide shows how cactus can easily be combined with other arid-adapted plants, indoors and out. He shares his passion for “the most sought-after landscape cactus in the world,” the golden barrel cactus, with its showy golden spines, and cactus with segmented pads and rods, including prickly pears and chollas, which are the most cold-hardy. Columnar varieties, the least cold-tolerant, include the iconic saguaro, America’s largest cactus, a symbol of the Southwest that can soar to 50 feet and branch to 8 feet across. Habitat, growth stats, cultivation, and design suggestions supplement detailed profiles, while back matter covers culinary uses, pest-control tips, and plant hardiness zones, for an outstanding volume that is both beautiful and useful. –Whitney Scott