Monday, March 30, 2015

Night-blooming "Fern Leaf" Cactus Bloomed!

What the proper name for this plant is, I just learned from a friend: Epiphyllum (or Selenicerius) Chrysocardium. Common name is Golden Heart or fern leaf cactus. It is a night-blooming orchid cactus and it is spectacular. This year it made eleven buds but all except one turned black and died. That is the usual case with this plant and I have no idea why. But the one bud that lived and grew (for months) finally bloomed last night. It was spectacular... and oh so fragrant!

To get an idea of the size of this bloom, Johnny held a ruler up. It was almost one foot across from outer petal to outer petal. Look at it in relation to the size of Johnny's hand!

Yesterday morning I saw that the bud was quite long and looked ready to open so I made a mental note to watch it that evening. But, as usual, I forgot. I have missed as many of our night blooming flower openings as I have seen. It wasn't until I was turning off the lights before going to bed that I glanced into the greenhouse and saw it fully open. I made Johnny, who was sound asleep, get out of bed and come look. He didn't even complain because he has been waiting for this flower to open, too.

By this morning, it had wilted but was still mildly fragrant.

Our greenhouse had already been smelling like Hawaii for some time because of the blooming Yesterday-Today-and-Tomorrow shrub (Brunfelsia pauciflora). The blooms start out purple, turn to light lavender, and then white. All three colors are on the bush at all times. And they smell wonderful... but cannot compete with the almost overpowering aroma from the night-blooming orchid cactus.

It was a show worth waiting for. And I'm sure glad we didn't miss it!

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