Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Introducing the Queen of the Night
This is the Night blooming Cereus and her buds. Tiny little tufts of fluff on a spindly and woody looking cactus. Nothing spectacular at this point other than the wonder and amazement of nature at work. This plant has been in my tree for longer than I have lived in this house which is 24 years. Normally it goes quite unnoticed, has been called ugly, and people ask why do you have it?
Here is a closer view of the bud on the cactus that hangs in the tree. I would guess the tree to be at least 30ft tall and the cactus climbs up and wraps around and hangs down, attaching itself like a parasite to branches, mingling with the moss that grows on air. It quite resembles snakes hanging from the tree like that.
As it reaches its birth, the pods become up to about 8 to 12 inches long. When the time is ripe, so is the bloom and it begins to open. This has also been called a Deer Horn Cactus. Do you see the red pods? They bloomed last night. I have been watching this cactus for 3 weeks, trying to capture the blooms.
It has a trumpet shaped flower with and the cactus itself has a turnip like root. The roots use to be a food source for the Native American that once inhabited this land. The flower itself has medicinal properties, somewhat like digitalis. It is also a hallucinogenic and I hope that the neighborhood kids never find this out.
The flowers will open for one night only, until the first rays of the morning sun hit it when it will forever close.
Behold the Queen of the Night!
Isn't she spectacular? Truly a gift from Mother Nature that is meant to be shared and absorbed by the souls who witness the magic!