Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Second Queen

Photos by Marty Horowitz  5/9/2014

The second bud on the Night-blooming Cereus (Peniocereus greggii) in Sabino Canyon opened the evening of 5/8/2014. Marty took these great photos the next morning. I'd like to dispel a few myths about this cactus. Yes, the flowers do open at night, but they stay open for hours. You can still see them in the morning, assuming you get to them early enough. Yes, each flower only opens once, but not all of the buds on any given plant will open on the same night. Not even at Tohono Chul!
Tohono Chul Park's Bloom Night is definitely worth going to (at least) once in your life. The dozens of NBC plants there are tended, studied, recorded, and watched so that the optimal bloom night can be determined; but even those flowers don't all open on the same night. There are always a few late bloomers. Why? Well, it just makes good reproductive sense not to count on all the hawk moths being available to pollinate your flowers on the same night. There are late hawk moths, too!

1 comment:

  1. At Tohono Chul it's all about the perfect date. We've would never claim that all our Peniocereus greggii bloomed the same night. We try to calculate which night the greatest number of flowers will open in order to provide the best experience for visitors. Needless to say, picking that date is quite challenging. No matter what we do, some flowers will have bloomed early and some will open after “Bloom Night” is called. With hundreds of plants, we may have 100 or more flowers in bloom on any single night, but never all of them.
    Jo Falls, Director of Education
    Tohono Chul