Saturday, October 20, 2012

On a cereus note ...

A one night life. That's it. For the Night Blooming Cereus, it's a show of spectacular blossoms lasting a few brief hours in the dark of night. I posted about my plant's first bloom in 2011 and the two flowers that emerged this summer.

Photo of Night Blooming Cereus flower by Alamodeus.

Several readers have asked questions since my last post, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to share more, since there is more news. Until this week, I only could count on one or two flowers in an entire growing season. But, that all changed when I noticed 18, yes eighteen, buds emerge from the slick green leaves in the last couple of weeks.

When the buds first appear, they are green and quite small. As the begin their growth, the buds elongate and turn red as shown in the photos above. Once the buds begin to arc upward, it is a signal that the flower will open within two nights.

Photo of Night Blooming Cereus flowers by Alamodeus.

First, I'll clarify the type of Cereus I am growing. It is the Night Blooming Cereus, Epiphyllum oxypetalum, a semi-eipiphytic plant with aerial roots (meaning it derives some of its moisture and nutrients from the air and rain).

Photo of Night Blooming Cereus flowers by Alamodeus.

This is a native plant of Mexico that grows to immense proportions given adequate space, filtered light and protection from cold. I started with a small cutting about 10 years ago and have helped it along with monthly, organic feedings of Medina Hasta Gro during Spring and Summer.

I didn't do a time lapse photo session this time, but you can see the shots I previously got on film here. However, you can see by the photos (above) that I did capture much of the bloom cycle.

Photo of Night Blooming Cereus flowers by Alamodeus.

The 'branches' of this Cereus are now well over 14' tall and drape several feet over the top of window frames.

I love these little jewels of the night! I just wish they bloomed in daylight. It is a night without sleep spent appreciating their beauty.

Photo of Night Blooming Cereus flower by Alamodeus.

The aroma of a Cereus flower is hauntingly alluring. It's an unforgettable, enchanting scent, obviously meant to match the blossom's unique beauty!

Until next year, my lovelies ...

All photos via Alamodeus.


Anonymous said...

Absolutely spectacular!! Thanks for sharing this glory with us. MAT

Melanie said...

I love your blog. The little bits of "non-interior design" posts always add a pleasant surprise to the mix.

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