Monday, November 02, 2009

Night Blooming Cereus

Nightflower 022, originally uploaded by evens.john.

One of the many pass-along plant we own, our Night-blooming Cereus sits in the front bay window in a pot that we acquired from a friend who was moving. The plant itself is a disaster to look at. Apparently it is a species of cactus, but one that is trying to look more like a regular houseplant. And failing. The distinction between stems and leaves is hard to make. New leaves bud out the side of larger leaves. The stems sprout in a haphazard manner. Half the leaves are brown at the end and have large chunks missing. Despite it's poor appearance the Cereus has amazing blooms, and last night the flower opened and proved it's worth.
It started to bud a few weeks ago, which alerted me to the fact that I probably hadn't watered it for ages. The bud grew and grew, looking like some alien bio-pod, then began opening around 9pm. It really is a stunning bloom, the kind you only usually see in botanical gardens. I have heard that the scent is as astounding as the appearance, but neither Kristal or I have a great sense of smell, so we thought the aroma was much like any other flower. Maybe with more than one bloom we would have experience the room-filling scent that we'd read about. Nonetheless we were excited to have witness the bloom this year. I was worried that it would happen while we we out of town this weekend and we would miss the whole show. Now we are experts we can expect to see a bloom every year. All you have to do is completely ignore the thing for the entire month of October!

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