The flower is utterly magical to behold, but is made even more precious by the fact that its blooms are rare and special occasions. For only one night each year the other worldly flower emerges and then goes away before sunrise. Sometimes called Queen of the Night, the night-blooming cereus is a type of cactus. There are about twenty species of the plant, which grow rapidly with little care in most gardens. Night-blooming cereus thrives in full sun to part shade, and—given the right environment—can climb rocks and trees. The flower can be as large as a foot in diameter, and as the plant matures, it becomes more floriferous. Propagation is easy – cut off some leaves and stick them in a container of potting soil.
Peniocereus Peniocereus greggii (nightblooming cereus) is native to southern Arizona, New Mexico and southwest Texas. It is listed as an endangered plant in New Mexico, and as salvage restricted (collect only with a permit) in Arizona. It is considered a vanishing plant throughout its range due to activities of collectors. Click here for more details.
I found this interesting tidbit at the gardenblog of the providence journal.
If you bring it inside when the buds appear, the scent ( or stink–depending on your point of view ) will let you know when the bloom is about to blow. I’ve heard the scent described as a sweet perfume. That is being kind. It smells more like cheap perfume– the kind you may encounter in a cathouse on the Place de Clichy in Paris. And it will fill the house– it is that strong. I have kept them until the following day by clipping them and putting the bloom in the fridge. But they don’t last long after that. It’s worth staying up to see.
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