Friday, August 23, 2019

Queen(s) of the Night

Yesterday was the day! The two buds on the night-blooming cereus were ready to open and I wanted to capture the once-a-year event.

They don't open till dark--around 8:30 here.

And it's a very gradual process . . . 

Accompanied by a heavenly fragrance to lure pollinators. 

The interior holds a complicated arrangement of pistil and stamens, just waiting for those pollinators --bats and/or moths. (I doubt we have either in the greenhouse where this plant lives.)

I took my last photo at 10:30.

The flowers will continue to open but I needed to choose which pictures to post (I took around eighty) and go to bed. 

I'm happy I didn't miss it. Come daylight, the blooms will be wilted and that's it for another year.

My other cereus bloomed two or three days ago--and I didn't realize it had till I was met by this sad sight the next morning.
These flowers are so special to me--I remember back in Florida my grandparents had one growing up a pine tree in their back yard. It reached high, high up and my grandfather kept a close watch on it around this time of year. 

When he knew it would open, he'd alert friends and a magical event would occur as they gathered with flashlights to count the blooms--anywhere from ninety to a hundred.

I had only two--and no viewing party. But it's like my porch garden and that one-foot waterfall--they still give pleasure.


Anvilcloud said...

What a cool event to observe and a wonderful connection with your past too. Well documented.

Barbara Rogers said...

So beautiful...I remember a friend invited me over to see her's bloom one year, along with about 4 other people, thus a party. Good friends had to turn on flashlights every once in a while to remember why we'd gathered...mamma nature dressing in the dark!

NCmountainwoman said...

What a wonderful post, Vicki. And spectacular photographs. It won't be long before Josie can join you in watching this miracle unfold and smelling the amazing fragrance. Better be prepared for lots of questions from her.

Juliet said...

How exciting, so magical and yet ephemeral. Those blooms are full of beauty.

Nan Emanuel said...

Fabulous pics of a sight rarely seen. Thanks for once again sharing something so special.