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The cactus store in Echo Park that’s taking over your Instagram feed

It’s always cactus weather in the unmarked Echo Park storefront known informally as “the Cactus Store” or “Hot Cactus” to neighbors.

Navigating the 200-square-foot interior is like squeezing through sheer desert canyon walls, as 450-plus rare and exotic cactuses in unglazed terra-cotta pots rise on cinder-block stacks.

These often-ancient specimens are living, soul-filled art to the partners behind the store, including Carlos Morera and his uncle, John, who opened the shop with friends and fellow business partners (and cactus collectors) Jeff Kaplon, Max Martin and Christian Cummings. “It’s an obsession,” Carlos Morera says, and they all nod.

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The shop’s success — business is always humming, and it has more than 12,000 followers on Instagram — is spawning a book tentatively titled “Cactus Man,” celebrating astounding photography of cactuses in their far-flung natural habitats, and a landscaping business.

Also in the works: an Altadena greenhouse-cum-museum, which will be called the CS Plumber Collection. It will house a treasure trove of rare cactuses purchased from its late Buena Park collector and namesake, who was a plumber by trade.

The Cactus Store, 1505 ½ Echo Park Ave., Los Angeles. (213) 947-3009. hotcactus.la


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