Also known as christmas cactus (but it is flowering here in Cambridge just in time for Thanksgiving), Schlumbergera’s are a strange sort of cactus plants. They have stems that look like leaf-like pads connected to one another. The flowers form at the terminal end of the plant. I grew mine from a small two segment section taken from a friends house and popped into a pot.
Capturing this photograph gave me no end of satisfaction. It was a very small flower (< 5mm diameter) to work with and it was a windy day and getting focus and framing right using increased magnification from extension tube attachments on the lens was a challenge. Finally getting the black background using a remote flash was also difficult. In the end, the results showed a beautiful, almost hand painted flower with flecks of yellow, magenta and crimson on the petals. There is truly beauty in small things!!
Nikon D7000 with a 105mm Sigma macro lens with extension tubes.
South Africa has no king! Instead they have some of the most beautiful flowers in the world, including this one – the King Protea (Proteus cynaroides). The genus comprises of many species of great diversity and lives up to its name from the greek god Proteus – a god known for taking on many forms.