Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Epiphyllum Bloom, an Exciting Event

Autumn Belle asked a while back about my Epiphyllum posts. Each event is exciting, but the blossoms look the same each time in varying numbers. Nine total this time, 8 of them on a single plant, opened on the night of August 2.

They commenced opening by 8:30pm.

Can you see all eight in this photo?

By 10:30 they were half open:

Fully open by 11:30

I made a video, below, of the open blooms.

Night Blooming Cereus from Jean Campbell on Vimeo.

I've always wished I could keep them over to the next morning to show them to friends and let them sample the incredible scent. I cut them off the plants last night near midnight, put them in plastic bags and inflated the bags. Stored in the refrigerator, they were still open this morning, still crisp and new-looking. I took 2 to the restaurant where we ate breakfast in town before we went to the City.

This afternoon I took 3 to my neighbor so she could see and smell them. Everybody wants to know how to keep them. Other than prolonging the inevitable for a few hours by keeping them in the dark and cool, I don't know a way. Preserving them in pics is all I have.

More of the open blooms are here: my Rotogravure site where I put flower portraits.


  1. Nell Jean, I was so excited when I saw your latest post update at the bottom of my blog page. Hence, I hop right over. Yay!

    Congratulations! To see 1 bloom is already a blessing but to see 8? Wow! In my Cantonese dialect, 8 = Fatt which translate to 'wealth'. If it happens in my garden, it will be extremely auspicious and I will go and buy some lottery, hoping for a windfall, hehe.

    Yours bloom regularly, hence if only you could send a piece of the leaf over. Oh how I wish that this method of propagation is possible.....

    Now, I regret not buying the one and only sapling for sale at Floria 2011 last month because I think the price was too expensive.

    Nell Jean, thank you very much for the video which is such a joy to watch.

  2. These are weird but cool too.

  3. You are lucky to have a lot of blooms at the same time. I also posted this in July but yours are beautiful, though i think maybe the varieties are different.

  4. I finally have three buds about to a day or so. Mine got pretty beaten up on the trip to SC last summer and is still adjusting. Eight blooms on one plant is exciting. I love their fragrance. Clever of you to refrigerate them to try to preserve them until morning.

  5. I wish I could send you a cutting, Autumn Belle. I can't find information online about sending live plant material to your country, but I'll keep looking. I've traded lily bulbs back and forth to Canada.

    Janet, the refrigeration trick worked! They were still open and crisp when I took some to church Wednesday night. I think the darkness is the key but it didn't hurt to keep them out of the unbearable heat.

    The most disreputable plants have the best blossoms.

  6. Amazing. I have not heard of these plants before. They are quite beautiful to look at. I wonder if they are moth-pollinated.

  7. Nell Jean, i am actually much nearer to Autumn Belle and i can also send her a cutting, but nobody is going to Kuala Lumpur yet, it's not okay in the mail. How i wish someone will carry it directly or maybe she can come over and get it even with an orchid, haha!

  8. Thanks for the photos and video. I have heard of these flowers but I have never seen them. Interesting. And now I'm wondering why some flowers only bloom at night.

  9. I'm not familiar with this flower. Does it bloom only at midnight? Only once?

  10. Each bloom opens beginning after dark and is bully open by midnight. The next morning with the light of day, they close. They are pollinated by insects during the night. I've never had fruit to form. In the tropics they are epiphytic vines that climb trees. We grow them as ungainly plants in pots. Over a summer, they will put on buds several times.

  11. These are pretty amazing! I am not familiar with the plant. It is exotic and looks a little creepy to me, like it could invade the house and grab you while you were sleeping. I Love it!


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