Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Succumbing to the "Queen of the Night"

I cast my lot with vegetables long ago. I leave flowers to others. HOWEVER, last night I was invited to a friend's house to see her night blooming Cereus and I have come away totally enchanted. I knew vaguely of them ... that they existed ... but I had no idea how exotic they are ... how they can fill an ordinary summer's night with romance and mystery ... how their single night of blooming can put you in the mood of all night reverie.
My friend's Cereus is so big it is belted to a chair near a skylight in their bedroom. They have to fight with it to get to their dresser drawers. I LIKE this kind of devotion to beauty, albeit a beauty that is restricted to a few glorious summer nights. But I realize that to accept a cutting of this plant is to accept a way of life (sort of like having a successful purple martin house in your yard). But accept it I didand lo and behold there on the cutting is a blossom ... YIKES. These blossom grow out of the leaf itself ... very scary stuff, if you ask me. Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

I believe I recognize the mother plant, and that Laurie has a middle aged offspring, which I saw last week in CA. I shall alert LEM to look at this. I have a year old offspring which has not done anything beautiful yet, but will be grateful to see it's relatives' fabulous family photos. merci,mb

Anonymous said...

i'm from hawaii, and on the rock wall that surrounds a church on the north shore is a huge night blooming cereus plant that is many years old. here is a picture: http://photosofaloha.smugmug.com/gallery/1196438_jvy7T#56021345_MpCpS

i've never seen pictures of it before so i was amazed that it can also grow so small in pots.