Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Art Blog: WEIRD Nature

No matter how long I live in Florida, the nature always amazes me. Years ago, I was visiting a friend and she mentioned it was the night her cactus would bloom. Not being a horticulturist or even a gardener, I said “HUH?” She showed me this cactus growing up her tree in the front yard. Sure enough there were these bizarre, fuzzy things hanging all over it. She told me they bloom only one night a year. How weird. When I bought my house, she gave me four little pieces of her cactus. I planted them next to my oak tree in my front yard. In five years, that cactus has grown up the tree at least twenty-five feet in the air. It didn’t start blooming until last year. However, I missed it!! I noticed it had bloomed the day after when I saw the dead, drooping blossoms.
Well, this year I was prepared and tonight I saw it in action!! Today I noticed all the hairy buds. I got my camera ready. I went out there almost on the hour. It is unbelievable how these flowers bloom so fast and in total darkness. The flowers are huge.

The buds are wooly, phallic forms. Each bud is between 6 and 8 inches long. The blooms are over 12 inches wide! These two pics were taken at 6:00 PM

7:00 PM

10:00 PM

11:00 PM

12:00 AM
I put a soda can next to it so you can see the scale of these beauties!
Tomorrow morning they will be all gone.

P.S. Thanks to STEVE, I know (now) this plant is called "Night Blooming Cirrus". Thanks Steve!!!


steve said...

Looks like the night blooming cirrus we had when I was a kid. Before I started photography so I never got pics. Thanks for sharing.

Sheree Rensel said...

You know, you reminded me of something I FORGOT to put in the post. If anybody knows what you call this plant, let me know! I have no clue. I will look up "cirrus" and see if that is what it could be. I am not into plants except to look at them. I really think this thing is a facinating oddity.
Thanks so much for your comment!! :-)

Sheree Rensel said...

You were right! It is called Night Blooming Cirrus.
Thank you!!!! :-)

David C said...

Holy cow! That's awesome... and pretty cool that you caught it in action this year. Surely you'll have an annual blog event for this going forward!

Sheree Rensel said...

Yes David, I will be watching out for them from now on. Actually, this plant is immature. I saw some online that were older and get far more blooms than mine has. I know each year there will be more. This year I had quite a few. Aren't they awesome?
Thanks for you comment!!

Martha Marshall said...

You got some amazing pictures, Sheree! Thank you for telling me about this post. I didn't know until now that you had one too. Mine is in a big tub, and not in the ground. I want to take it with me when I move.