Worth the wait

We were given this cactus several years ago. I think as the result of a house clear-out. NotOrbea wanting to destroy a living thing, its owners passed it on. I never liked it. It was tolerated on the kitchen window sill. Thickish green branchy stems with stumpy spikes, sprawling and ungainly. Then yesterday I came home to find a flower. The cactus is an Orbea variegata, native to South Africa. In the wild, who would pollinate it? In my kitchen it is wasting its sweetness on the desert air.

About a week went by. And when it felt that its finest hour was spent, instead of untidily shPocketrivelling, the flower folded itself into this beautiful, tight little envelope.

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