I will never own this plant, because of its nasty spines (I realize this is rather ridiculous, coming from a gardener with 300 roses). However, I can visit Echinopsis 'Flying Saucer' at the Huntington in San Marino, and hyperventilate over the beauty of the huge (6-8", 15-20 cm) flowers. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! As gorgeous as any rose.
On our last visit to the Huntingdon, the Aloes were blooming. Today it was the terrestrial bromiliads that were in flower: Dyckias and Puyas. The Cacti (including Echinopsis 'Flying Saucer') are just beginning.
Unknown cactus in bloom:
Puya venusta--blue flowers on pink stems!
Puyas are from Chile.
Dyckia bloom spikes:
Dyckia are from South America, mostly Brazil, but they appear to like California just fine.