Thursday, May 14, 2020


In the spring, the hop seeds bloom.  They put forth massive bunches of blossoms that weigh the branches down.  I generally have to cut off some of the ones that are about to break under the weight.  They have been there about twenty years.  The first owner who planted them kept them sheared as a low hedge.  Somewhere along the line, no one sheared and they're now about fifteen feet tall and totally unruly.  I like them better that way.  The internet says not to cut into the old wood, which would have to be done to return them to a hedge shape, so I don't. 

I think they're a beautiful flower.

This is the first year I've actually looked at them after they have dried out.  That is a crispy little flower.

On the right is one of the wings of the flower, resting on another wing.  You can see the center pocket which is empty.

Bottom right is what's inside.  There are two chambers, each with a little black seed.

Thank the heavens these seeds do not seem to germinate well or we would be up to our armpits in hop seed seedlings.  Or maybe it's the fact that we have spread Preen (a pre-emergent) everywhere so that the weeds and grasses don't get a start in the gravel.  I wouldn't mind having a few sprout, but that's about it.

Today was a better day than the previous.  We got some sleep, and went for a bike ride.  It was very pleasant until about 2:00 - then it got hot.  But that's what it does here.

The blossoms aren't opening at all.  Maybe this one is not like the giant blue agaves when they bloom.  That's a stetsonia cactus to the left of the agave.  Look at the length of those thorns.  Wicked!


  1. I've never heard of hop seeds. They certainly are gorgeous!! Weird how natures makes those petals for perfect wind migration. So many cactus and I have no idea what any of the names are. You do have some beautiful specimens in your neighborhood.

  2. Your cacti garden is beautiful. Were you a scientist in a past life? You have such a clear way of sharing information.

  3. That "hop" plant (not the same as the hops in beer, I guess) looks like some kind of euphorbia. We have similar plants here called spurge and they are super-prolific and spread like wildfire.

  4. And the sky is so blue. I could lie back and look.

  5. I like those hop plants - they also grow at my daughter's home in NM.