August 8, 2013 |
When author Kurt Kamm is not writing firefighting mysteries, you can find him on his terrace pacing among his pots of plants: 112 cactuses and succulents, at last count. “I often come out when I have a thorny issue in a plot I'm trying to work out,” he said with a grin. When Kamm moved into the two-story, 1960s home on the hillside bluff overlooking the Malibu Colony, the 100-foot-long terrace had not a single plant. Because he had a severe brown thumb and had never cared for a garden in his life, he began buying cactuses and succulents: “the biggest, cheapest, least troublesome thing I could plant,” he said.
November 4, 2011 |
The cactus pear is the Rodney Dangerfield of the fruit world, beloved by immigrants from parts of Latin America and the Mediterranean basin but largely ignored by most consumers in the United States. That may be changing, however, as the leading domestic cactus pear producer, Salinas-based D'Arrigo Bros., has introduced four new, greatly improved varieties — orange, red, purple and green — that are firmer, sweeter and juicier than the traditional variety it has marketed for the last 80 years.
August 9, 2013 |
John Trager, curator of the desert collections at the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, offers these five tips for growing cactus and succulents in containers: 1. Plant in a well-drained mix of 80% pumice and 20% compost. 2. Fertilize during the growing season, spring and summer. 3. Handle cactus carefully. Wear latex surgical gloves, which provide the dexterity you need without damaging the plant. If you have to handle larger specimens, use a piece of old carpeting or an old pair of pants.
May 25, 2004
Re "Wild Man" (May 18): It's been far too long since I've pored through "Desert Solitaire." It's good to be reminded that we should stand up for something that's right, something we believe in. Andrew Haystead Ventura In Edward Abbey's writings, I found a compadre in ideals and attitudes -- a brother-in-arms against environmental terrorism by government, industry and greed. J. B. Litvak Costa Mesa
August 17, 2000 |
It could be said that cactuses are exceptional examples of geometry, the branch of mathematics that focuses on points, lines, planes and figures. They can assume amazing forms, and some are masters of the helix and other complicated mathematical sequences and equations. Helixes are three-dimensional spirals that are governed by a set of increasing numbers called the Fibonacci series that goes 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 and so on.
June 29, 2004 |
A study has found that an extract of prickly pear cactus can prevent a severe hangover. The 55 adults in the study who received the extract of Opuntia ficus indica instead of a placebo before getting drunk reported milder hangovers, according to the research conducted at Tulane University in New Orleans and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The study was funded in part by a firm that markets a product with the same extract.