How I Became Echinopsis Obsessed

I’m an Echinopsis enthusiast first and a photographer second. Until I became fascinated by Echinopsis flowers and wanted to photograph them, I never owned a DSLR-type camera or used image-editing software.

Why Echinopsis? I’ve always loved cacti and succulents, but living in Florida’s soggy climate ruined most of my experiments with owning these wonderful plants that hail from arid environments.

That all changed a few years back when I picked out a small cactus from of a tray of unidentified “generic” cacti at a local garden center. It handled our muggy weather better than any other cactus I had owned.  Moreover, the flowers it produced were knockouts … 6″ in diameter and an incredible fusion of pink and white. This audacious fellow also produced flush after flush of flowers over the summer months, a drastic difference from my other cacti that produced a single flower a year, if I was lucky.

Just what was this standout cactus? A little research determined it was an Echinopsis. I also discovered there were dozens of other Echinopsis species and hybrids with flowers even more amazing than those of the one I had stumbled upon by accident.

I was hooked. And you know how obsessions work – my single Echinopsis was soon joined by 5 … 20 … 50 … I think I now have almost 100 Echinopsis species and hybrids.

My passion for the cacti themselves soon morphed into a passion for imaging them. Echinopsis flowers only last a day from opening to wilting, and are at their peak for only an hour or two. I felt compelled to capture their brief existence in some way and began to photograph the blooms in the hopes of preserving some dimension of their stunning beauty.

The jump from still images to timelapse videos was a short one. One of my sons has a videography business. Seeing his commercial timelapse work motivated me to try creating timelapses to catch my Echinopsis in the act of blooming.