Strombocactus disciformis (2015)

PhotoBy Chris Deem (May 2015)

Among the nymphs of all the seas, there was not one as fair as she. She ruled with calm serenity, the tranquil waters of the vast Sargasso Sea. It was there, she once played beneath the soft seaweed, with her young daughter, Esperanzae. Those calm waters, for her, are only a memory.

Their lives were forever changed, the day they were summoned to the palace of Poseidon. That day, the nymph plaited her light-green hair into a braid interwoven with threads of gold. Her pale yellow eyes filled with much love as she dressed her young daughter to go.

Esperanzae’s hair was like her mother’s, but she had her father’s eyes. She had the eyes of the nether world – they flashed darkly, purple and magenta.

It was an ugly moment that happened shortly after they arrived. It was the first time she ever experienced fear, that moment when she saw Poseidon’s cold reaction towards her child.

They fled! They fled to the land above, where they soon learned his powers were not limited to the seas. Earthquakes were unleashed that day by the powers of Poseidon. The ground shook until there seemed no escape, save one.

The nymphs had the power of all nature spirits. The beautiful nymph told Esperanzae to flee toward the setting sun. As they parted, she vowed to find her child again one day.

As she watched Esperanzae run, the nymph poured her spirit into a small cactus. When Esperanzae could run no more, she did the same as her mother. Poseidon never found them.

This story has another ending, the story of what happened to the cacti. Strombocactus disciformis was alone until a discovery was made in Guanajuato. A smaller Strombocactus with purplish flowers was found. It was named the subspecies Esperanzae.