We play with dirt

My first night-blooming cereus experience! (Being deflowered?)

Hey friends! If you don't know, a night-blooming cereus is a super cool plant that only blooms over the course of a night. It takes a plant approximately 7 years to reach maturity, at which point it may bloom (although I only know about this for hosueplants) and it's a pretty spectacular occurrence when it does. The flowers have an incredibly potent smell.

I live in Montana, so the only night-blooming cereus I get to enjoy live indoors (darn people in Arizona, getting to grow these in their damn yards). I work at a university in plant science, and one of the greenhouses houses a collection of tropical and otherwise cool plant life. I was watering my lab's benches in this particular greenhouse yesterday afternoon when I noticed that the cereus had some giant flower buds on it, and I thought it was probably going to bloom that night. I don't have a photo, but they looked like this:


So I came back to the greenhouse at about 9pm last night, and sure enough, they were going! 5 blooms in all, and supremely aromatic. They smell kind of like a combination of Easter Lillies and sunscreen, honestly. I sat alone in a dark building for like 30 minutes with the plant because that's apparently how I roll.



This morning, this was all that was left of them.

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