Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Queen of the Night goes out with a bang

The big news this week has been the flowering of our Queen of the night cactus (Cereus hildmannianus subsp.hildmannianus).

On Monday, the first of four blossoms opened up. See this post for photos.

Last night, the remaining three blossoms unfurled, providing a magnificent finale to what has been one of the most beautiful spectacles of nature I’ve seen. Maybe next year I’ll be more blasé about it, but for now I’m still basking in the glory of this event, as fleeting as it was.

110816_Cereus-hildmannianus-subsp-hildmannianus-3-flowers_01
3:57pm
110816_Cereus-hildmannianus-subsp-hildmannianus-3-flowers_14
8:00pm
110816_Cereus-hildmannianus-subsp-hildmannianus-3-flowers_07
8:00pm
110816_Cereus-hildmannianus-subsp-hildmannianus-3-flowers_18
9:37pm
110816_Cereus-hildmannianus-subsp-hildmannianus-3-flowers_36
9:46pm
110817_Cereus-hildmannianus-subsp-hildmannianus-3-flowers_09
7:10am
110817_Cereus-hildmannianus-subsp-hildmannianus-3-flowers_12
7:11am

Tonight the flowers look like the first photo, but I expect them to dry up quickly. Time will tell if pollination occurred. I spotted bees again this morning, and I transferred some pollen using a soft brush. I have no idea if that works but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

A big thank you to my wonderful wife for illuminating the flowers in the after-dark photos above!

6 comments:

  1. You should have labeled the 9:46 PM shot as 2:10 AM so we'd think you were really crazy -- I mean dedicated!

    You've got to check out the parent plants to see how many blooms they produced.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Alan, well, if I had woken up in the middle of the night, I might have peeked outside. But I didn't :-).

    By the way, we walked by the mother plant tonight, and it had 8 open flowers and at least that many either just done blooming or getting ready to open. I may swing by again in the morning to take a photo. It's a beautiful multi-trunked cactus but it's right next to their front door and I don't want to trespass on their property.

    ReplyDelete
  3. That second illuminated photo is fantastic (not that the others aren't) - what a great surprise - I remember your post when you first planted those cacti.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Quite a dedication Gerhard! Although I'm also surprised you had a photoless gap between 9:46pm and 7:10am :) Gorgeous photos as always, cross fingers you get some seeds!

    ReplyDelete