Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The gift of a horse crippler…

This is always a welcome sight to come home to…

Especially when you open up the box to discover a big beautiful horse crippler!

A what? Oh, yes formally known as Echinocactus texensis. A few months ago a comment was left on my blog asking if I’d be interested in a horse crippler, and never one to pass up spikes of course I said yes!

Best of all these spikes came with a story. You can read an excellent blog post about them here (with nice photos too) but for those with a shortage of time I’ll summarize. The name “horse crippler” comes from the nasty spikes on this cactus which grows so low the ground that it’s near impossible to see amongst the grass until you (or a poor horse) are right on it. Combine that with the fact that when dry the plant deflates; causing the spikes to stick straight up and you can see the problem.

Paul, the fine fellow who sent me the Echinocactus, rescued a bunch of these plants from his in-laws ranch in West Texas…he also happens to be the man behind the Texas Triffid Ranch. Established in 2008, the Texas Triffid Ranch is a “nursery dedicated to the propagation and sale of carnivorous, prehistoric, and other unique plants of all sorts.” I see he also specializes in odd plants and oddities for odd people. So does this mean I’m an odd person?

Thank you Paul for the generous oh so spiky gift!

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