ISI 2002-45. Echinopsis ‘Fond Adieu’

(1403-54). Flower to about 5 inches (12½ cm) across. Petals almost spatulate, beautifully ruffled when flower partially opened, inner and intermediate petals strikingly bicolored mauve-magenta and deep yellow, the yellow appearing orange when flower partially unfurled, sometimes bright reddish-pink and deep yellow; outer petals and sepals largely yellow-ochre, strongly contrasting to colors of inner and intermediate petals. Filaments appearing pure orange when flower partly opened, milky orange when fully opened. Throat green, streaked with red. Stem semicolumnar, to 3¾ inches (9½ cm) in diameter; spines to ⅝ inch (16 mm) long.

Fond Adieu’s first flower bud unfurled in a “greenhouse” room at my home, revealing a wonderful flower. Aiko, seeing the blossom, gushed at how she loved it! Then she left to go shopping. That afternoon she returned, put away the groceries, then came into the room. Tragically, however, the flower had begun to close. “Oh”, she remarked and left to watch the Laker basketball game on television. But I could see in her eyes that she was bottling up bitter disappointment. They seemed to be saying, “Fond adieu, my love!” I must admit, though, Aiko’s glasses are kind of thick, so it was kind of hard to tell. Nonetheless, I’m sure that whoever has ‘Fond Adieu’ will feel regret when they have to say “Goodbye!” to the flower as it ends its glorious reign and begins to ascend hybrid heaven. No—not goodbye… Fond adieu! HBG 87021. Rooted offsets $7.50.

flower close-up

Photo © 2002 by John N. Trager. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 74 (2), March - April, 2002