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Sycamore woman's Christmas cactus blooms right on schedule

SYCAMORE – A Sycamore woman keeps a cactus in the northwest corner of her home, and this year it has done something it’s never done before.

Maybe it has something to do with her caring nature.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had it before with that many blossoms,” said Juanita Lemerand, a retired nurse.

The plant is a species from the genus schlumbergera, a cactus originally from southeastern Brazil. Lemerand, 86, said the blossoms are her favorite part of the cactus.

“I love it because of all of the blossoms,” she said about the hot pink flowers that sprout from the pointy, dark green leaves. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen such a beautiful plant.”

The cactus sometimes is known as a Christmas cactus or holiday cactus because of it’s blooming season.

Lemerand said the plant also has no scent and she’s glad it doesn’t.

“I’m glad of that really,” she said. “I don’t want to have to smell anything.”

She said she remembered when her family came to visit her, they commented on the plant.

“The family loves it,” she said.

Lemerand said they were wowed by the plant and its colorful parts.

She said she moved to Sycamore about 20 years ago from Escanaba in the Upper Peninsula to be around her family after her husband, Bob, died.

“My favorite thing is being with my family,” said Lemerand, who has three sons – Rob, Jimmy and Ron. “That’s the main thing of everything, family.”

Lemerand said the plant, which also is the host to a multi-colored windmill she bought for it years ago, is at least five years old. She said the cactus blossoms around the holidays.

“It likes that window I think,” she said about its current spot. The cactus sits next to her geranium, which is at least five-feet tall, as well as a small orchid with wide green leaves and a few artificial plants for color.

Lemerand said the cactus used to sit outside, but she brought it in because of the weather.

Although it doesn’t look like the prickly cacti of southwestern U.S., it’s still plenty sharp.

“I’m not gonna touch it,” she said as she laughed about the needles. “They probably are sharp.”

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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