After years of practice, I'm pretty good at guessing when my Argentine Giant (Echinopsis candicans) will bloom. The huge red buds grow rapidly to about six inches long, and then begin to expand in the center. Within a couple of days, the tips of the buds start showing a bit of white. Once that happens, I know the buds will open that evening. Flowering happens in March and April, and occasionally in late summer after the Monsoon storms.
It happened Thursday evening. I had my camera ready, and by 8 pm, the flowers were completely open and at their most fragrant. Their fragrance reminds me of a light bergamot. Later on, I went out to see if any pollinators had arrived, but no moths or bats were flitting around. They don't have much time to do their thing. The flowers will last through the night and as dawn approaches, they will wilt.
Argentine Giant is a "must have" for Arizona home landscaping, and it seems as if there is one in every yard. Some older specimens are quite large, about four feet high and clumping to seven feet wide. The huge cactus stems can have numerous flowers along the length of each stem. Most of the flowers open at the same time and are about six to eight inches in diameter, completely hiding the stems. It is an amazing sight to see.
For more information on this cactus see a previous post.