25. June 2015 · Comments Off on This Year’s Debutantes · Categories: Places · Tags:

Night Blooming Cereus on their night to shine.

Night Blooming Cereus Night Blooming Cereus
18. October 2014 · Comments Off on Stemming From · Categories: Places · Tags: ,

After the bloom is off the Night Blooming Cereus flowers, the seed pod emerges in the stem below. The photos are from different plants; the night blooming cereus are a bit delicate and subject to catastrophe, some of the plants depicted are no longer alive. Even the generally helpful and welcomed extended monsoon rains played a role, since NBC’s are prone to root rot. Several healthy specimens in high parts of drainage areas, in normal seasons a perfect placement, have been overwhelmed.

23. September 2013 · Comments Off on Remainder · Categories: Places · Tags:

The long repro process of the night blooming cereus comes to its close, the fruits take a while to be eaten and usually aren’t consumed in one go. This is the only one I’ve found left in an area where a lot of them grow.

25. June 2013 · Comments Off on Cereusly · Categories: Places · Tags: ,

Pistils at dawn…


21. June 2013 · Comments Off on The Morning After · Categories: Places · Tags: ,

After one night of blooming, the flower wilts and the stalk below the night blooming cereus flower begins to form a fruit. This one won’t, it was knocked off the plant a few days after blooming.

Night Blooming Cereus After Bloom
10. June 2013 · Comments Off on Day of the Night Blooming Cereus · Categories: Places · Tags: ,

What a difference a night makes…

07. May 2013 · Comments Off on Hidden Stalks, a Guide · Categories: Places · Tags:

Until I found some Night Blooming Cereus in flower I missed seeing them. Here’s a set of photos to demonstrate how well they blend with their nurse trees. You may have one near you, they should bloom within a few weeks.


05. May 2013 · Comments Off on A Minor Intervention · Categories: Places · Tags: , ,

Stopping to snap some prickly pear cactus buds, I noticed a bee not leaving one, very unlike a bee to hang out on an unopened flower like that. Ah, the front leg is stuck in the folds. A tiny stick and some gentle prying and the bee takes off, with a combination of irritation and relief, the latter winning so I don’t get stung, but he does hover and look me over for a bit. And then goes right back to work in the adjoining open flower, coming out festooned with pollen and hopefully some of what he needed to gather for his part in the day.

Also, the night-blooming cereus are beginning to bud. Not easy to find in the first place, nondescript dead-looking stalks in the middle of mesquite bushes, the buds are tiny red bumps on that enigma wrapped in a nurse tree.

27. August 2012 · Comments Off on Night Blooming Cereus · Categories: Places · Tags: ,

If the night blooming cereous were human, it would be a gaunt artist with shopworn colorless clothing and an absinthe habit, keeping to the back streets, working unnoticed except one night a year when it would be the impresario of the most extravagant party in town.

I happened upon my first one by chance, just walking along the Arizona Trail early one morning. The flowers are sumptuous, especially with the background of raw dessicated desert, they look more like rainforest manifestations. Bees were wading deep in the pistils, they disappeared from view, the only sign that they were down in there was the tops waving, like high grass with something moving in it.

They do produce fruits, so perhaps one could say they throw two parties a year, or maybe count the whole cycle as an extended summer bacchanalia. After that it’s back to dull obscurity, chaperoned in a nurse bush, with just a hint of green in the new growth. One could pass one every day and not notice.

01. July 2012 · Comments Off on Night Blooming Cereus · Categories: Places · Tags: ,

A serendipitous detour on a hike led me past what would normally have been unremarkable plant stalks. However, on that day this peniocereus greggii, or night-blooming cereus, was doing it’s ephemeral extravaganza. A tip of the hat to a naturalist friend who knows the names of these wonderful manifestations.