Cactus flowers - 6th January 2017

Flowering Cactus, M.B.Wilkins 

See full listing of images for this photographer


What's great about this picture?

The plant

Well first of all, how often have you seen a cactus do this? It's pretty amazing. 

This is January and there's not much going on in the garden, so why not buy a cactus and see if you can get it to flower like this just for fun. 

It should be persuaded if you give it bright light day and night for a while. Plants are generally convinced to flower when the days are long, but what they are actually measuring in their tiny planty brains (not really actual brains obviously, but physiological clock systems) is the length of the night time. 

When the night time is shorter than a given length, they conclude that summer is here and burst into flower. 

Why not see if you can coax your own cactus collection in action with a bit of artificial light?

The photography

The photography in this image is also pretty amazing. 

The photo has a 3D quality that is brought about by clever lighting. Three lights were used, a strong one at the front to light up the whole scene, and dimmer one at the side to give a 3D quality to the image, and a back light to bring out the tips of the flowers at the top. 

Why not try out some lighting tricks on your own specimens and see what you can do?


Why not see if you can do better? 

If you can, send the image to us and the best image sent by the end of the month will be posted on this website as the next image of the month. 

If you would like to offer the image for sale then we will do that and all proceeds of sales will be sent to the photographer. 

Image of the month

Here is a list of images that have been chosen as Image of the Month.

January 2017 - Flowering cactus - M.B.Wilkins


Images of coleoptiles
and the growth patterns shown under light and hormone treatment,
from the collection of Prof M.B. Wilkins. 

Please see the Collection Page for a fuller explanation.

To see all of the images easily, click on the first, and page through using the left/right arrows. 

Both original slides and full-size scanned images are available. The initial scan was done very quickly, but slides can easily be rescanned to straighten images where needed. The images displayed are cut down to a small size to avoid copyright infringement.

My scanner struggled with this particular set of images because the black backgrounds made it very difficult for it to figure out which area of the slide to scan. Where these slides in particular are needed I will go back and rescan where required.