April is a transitional month and we see a shift from the predominant flowers belonging to the Aloe family to being time for the Cactus family to start showing off. However, April is also uniquely blessed with Puya flowers (not really true succulents, but which are often grown with them as they are truly xeric plants) as well. And the Mesembs are still in full swing this month covering large expanses with their brilliantly colored carpets of blooms.


Though April is not the peak month for cactus flowers, it certainly is a good one. Many of the Echinopsis hybrids flower this month, many Mammillarias are in full flower now, and the Epiphyllums are starting to show off, too. Opuntias are just beginning to get going and so are the Parodias and Gymnocalycium.

Astrophytum asterias Echinocactus

Two cacti in April showing flowers- left is my Astrophytym asterias 'Super Kabuto'; right is a nice Echinocactus horizontholonaus in a plant show


This large colony of Cleistocacti sp. was seen blooming at the Huntington Gardens in April

Cleistocactus ferrarei close Cleistotocactus in my yard

My favorite Cleistocactus species, Cleistocactus ferrarei, is a good reliable bloomer in spring in my yard

Cleisto strausii Cleisto winteri

Also blooming in the yard this month are Cleistocactus strausii (left) and winteri (right)

Echinocereus dasyacanthus Echinocereus triadogliditis Echino tri closer

Echinocereus often start blooming in spring- a few from my garden: Echinocereus dasyacanthus (left) and Echinocereus triglochidiatus (center and right)

Echino coccineus Echino nivosus Echinocereus pentalophus

Echinocereus coccineus (in New Mexico- photo by oldmudhouse) left; Echinocererus nivosus (center) in my yard; and Echinocereus pentalophus end of April in the Huntington Gardens (right)

Echino 1 cactusjordi Echino 2 cactusjordi

Echinocereus chisoensis (left) and Echinocereus laui (right) also bloom in early spring (photos by CactusJordi)

Echnocereus Fire Chief Echinopsis orange flower

Echinopsis 'Fire Chief' in my garden in April (left); Echinopsis formosa blooms several months off and on, but this shot is from an April bloom (right)

Echinopsis flying saucer Echinopsis pink Echinopsis red

Three Echinopsis hybrids in my yard this month. Only known hybrid is the far left which is a popular plant with huge flowers, Echinopsis 'Flying Saucer'

Disocactus flagelliformis Disocactus closesr Aporophyllum

I have several hanging cacti that are always in bloom this month- Disocactus flagelliformis (Rat Tail Cactus) left and center; Aporophyllum 'Cascade' right

Epiphyllum yellow Epiphyllum Agatha Epi Block Party

Epiphyllums start to bloom this month, though May is their month to really shine: Epiphyllum 'Sonoma Sunshine' (left); Epiphyllum 'Agatha' (photo bszarek) center and Epiphyllum 'Block Party' right

Epi white Epi American Sweetheart

Epiphyllum 'French Gold' (left) and Epiphyllum 'American Sweetheart' right (photo by bszarek)

Ferocactus chysocanthus Ferocactus glaucescens

Ferocactus pilosus is starting to bloom this month in my yard (left) as is Ferocactus glauscens (right)

Ferocactus stansei Ferocactus echidne

Ferocactus stanseii (left) and Ferocactus echidne var. victoriensis (right) both blooming in April

Gymnocalycium brucheii Gymno saglionis Gymno saglionis flowers

Gymnocalyciums start to bloom this month as well, but Gymnocalycium brucheii (left) always seems to be the first to show off; then comes the big Gymnocalycium saglionis (center and right)

mammillaria supertexta mammillaria copmressa

Mammillarias are out in force this month. Mammillaria supertexta (left) and Mammillaria compressa (right)

mammillaria mystax mammillaria fuzzy

Mammillaria casoi and Mammilaria hahniana blooming in my yard

mammillaria crinita mammillaria picayensis mammillaria karwinskiana

Three more of my Mammillarias that flower in April: Mammillaria crinita ssp. duwei (left), Mammillaria picayensis (center) and Mammillaria karwinskiana (right)

Mammillaria melanocentra mamm geminispina

and two of my favorites, Mammillaria melanocentra (left) and Mammillaria geminispina (right)

OPpuntia basilaris Opuntia basilaris flower

Opuntia basilaris, the Beavertail Cactus, is one of the first Opuntias to flower in the spring

OPuntia macrocentra Opuntia santa rita

two turquoise Opuntias also bloom this time of year- Opuntia macrocentra (left) and Opuntia violacea var. gosseliana (right)

parodia werneri Parodia lenningausii

Parodia werneri (left) and Parodia lenninghausii (the Lemon Ball Cactus) are two more cacti that make flowers this time of year in the yard

Parodia lenninghausii again pereskia

another shot of Parodia lenninghausii in a botanical garden (left); right is Pereskia grandiflora, an oddball leafy cactus that sometimes blooms as early as April

Here is a link to a discussion on Davesgarden with more cacti flowering in April: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1250178/


Aloe africana Aloe amutadensis Aloe belatulla

Aloe africana is one of the last tree aloes to see blooming this late in the year (left); some miniatures such as Aloe amutadensis (middle) and Aloe belatulla bloom in April as well

Aloe commutata

Aloe 'commutata' colony in April in the Huntington Gardens, southern California

Aloe Blue Elf Aloe brevifolia Aloe broomii

Aloe 'Blue Elf' (left) is a very common and popular landscape aloe that flowers in full force this month; Aloe brevifolia flowers in both April and May (center) and Aloe broomii can flower as late as April (right)

Aloe buhrii is a later season bloomer aloe buhrii in my yard aloe buhrii yellow

Aloe burhii is a later season bloomer and comes in three different colors

Aloe camperi cornuta Aloe cremnophila Aloe divaricata

Aloe camperi 'cornuta' flowers in April (left) along with Aloe cremnophila (center) and Aloe divaricata (right)

Aloe esculenta Aloe lineata Aloe harlana

Aloe esculenta (left) Aloe glauca (center) and Aloe harlana (right) bloom this month

Aloe hildebrandii Aloe longibracteata Aloe lineata

Aloe hildebrandii (left) flowers in most months, Aloe longibractreata is a regular April flowerer (center) and Aloe lineata's last month is April (right)

Aloe pachygaster Aloe pendens Aloe pictifolia

Aloe pachygaster (left) and Aloe pictifolia (right) flower in April, but Aloe pendens (center) blooms in nearly every month in my yard

Aloe pubescens Aloe plicatilis Aloe plicatilis flower

Aloe pubescens has fuzzy flowers in April (left); Aloe plicatilis is one of the last blooming tree aloes (center and left)

Aloe striata Aloe umfoloziensis Aloe vera

Aloe striata is really popular and bloooms best in April (left); the best flowering aloe in my garden in April is Aloe umfoloziensis (middle) and it holds it flowers for 3 weeks almost; Aloe vera (right) blooms many times throughout the year (seems many of the yellow-flowering aloes often bloom multiple times)


Delosperma floribundum ice plant

Delosperma floribundum blooms this time of year (left) as does this red Mesemb that I can never seem to find a tag on in the botanical gardens (right)

Lampranthus glaucescens Lampanthus pale lampranthus red shift

Lampranthus are still in bloom in April: Lampranthus glaucescens (left); Lampranthus 'Pink' (center) and Lampranthus 'Red Shift' (right)


Euphorbia atropurpurea Euphorbia balsamifera Euphorbia caput-medusae

Euphorbias beging to produce cyathia (their flowers) in force in spring: Euphorbia atropurpurea (left), Euphorbia balsamifera (center) and Euphorbia caput-medusae (right)

Euphorbia flanaganii Euphorbia inermis

Two more medusoid plants that make cyathia in April include Euphorbia flanaganii (left) and Euphorbia inermis (right)

e millii e millii flowers e millii large

Euphorbia millii varieties are still in bloom in April and many stay in bloom most of the spring into the summer.

Euph mayurananthani E rowlyeana Euphorbia enopla

Euphorbias that are flowering in my garden include Euphorbia mayurananthani (left), Euphorbia rowleyanus (center) and, at its peak, Euporbia enopla (right)

euphorbia velvet Euphorbia tasmanian

two forms of Euphorbia characias that seem to like this month for flowering are Euphorbia characias 'Portuguese Velvet' (left) and Euphorbia characias 'Tasmanian Tiger' (right)

Euphorbia stellata euph tetragona e makallensis

three more I see making cyathia this month are Euphorbia stellata (one of my favorites- left), Euphorbia tetragona (center) and Euphorbia makallensis (right)

e Wunduilate Monadenium

Euphorbia horrida hybrid (Euphorbia 'Wundulate) is in full flower this month, but it stays this way most of the summer, too- left; this Monadenium, now included in the genus Euphorbia, is also in flower in my garden this month (and several thereafter)- right


Aeonium hybrid Aeonium Voodoo flowering

Several Aeonium hybrids flowering in April (right is Aeonium 'Voodoo')

Crassula Morgan's Beauty Dudleya brittonii Dudleya brittonii flower

Crassula 'Morgan's Beauty' sometimes blooms as late as April (left); Dudleya brittonii has been shown before, as it blooms variably most of the winter and early spring, but April is its real blooming month, when all of them are in full bloom (center and right)

Echeveria potosina Echeveria potosina flower

Similar to Echeveria elegans, this slightly smaller species, Echeveria potosina, tends to be a month behind Echeveria elegans in its blooming time

Miscellaneous Succulents

Alluaudia procera flowers Fouquieria splendens Oxalis gigantea

The strange but popular Madagascan garden succulent, Alluaudia procera (left) blooms this month; Fouquieria splendens (Ocatillo) also starts to shows its brilliant red to red-orange flowers this month (center); Oxalis gigantea, the succulent version of this genus, starts to recover and flower in April (right)

Hesperaloe parviflora pachypodium namaquanum Pachypodium cross

Hesperaloe parvifolia (aka Red Agave) (left) blooms about half the year, but April is its real coming out month; Pachypodium namaquanum blooms this month (center) and this hybrid of Pachypodium namaquanum and succulentum also is in early bloom in April in my garden (right)

Gasteria little warty Dyckia dyckia orange

Several Gasterias start to flower this month (left is Gasteria 'Little Warty'); outdoor Dyckias also flower this momth (center and right)


If you ever plan on visiting the Huntington Gardens and cannot come during Aloe season (winter), try at least to visit sometime in April. The flowering Puyas are worth the visit alone- absolutely incredible!!

Puya berteroana Puya alpestris PUya alpestris 2

Puya beteroana (left) and Puya alpestris (center and right)

Puya chilensis Puya chilensis group Puya chilensis 3

Puya chilensis in April, Huntington Gardens, southern California

Puya coerulana Puya coerulana violet Puya coerulana var violacea

Puya coerulana in April (left and center); Puya coerulana var. violacea (right)

Puya venusta colony in April

Puya venusta colony in April, Huntington Gardens.

Puya unknown Puya unknown 2 Puya unknown 3

Three more Puyas blooming in April in the Huntington gardens that were not identified