Sunday, June 29, 2008

After Midnight

Echinopsis candicans ~ Argentine Giant

Unfortunately, I am not an early riser, so dusk is the only time I'm able to avoid the scorching sun and get gardening chores done. Although it's still about 108ยบ F, I can take it without the intensely bright sun beating down. Good thing I was out last evening, as I saw that the huge buds on my Argentine Giant cactus ready to open later on. Just after midnight, the six flowers had completely unfurled and were in all their glory.
This cactus blooms several times a year. The older it gets, the more often it puts out flowers, it seems. This is its third flowering this year so far. Unlike some other cactus flowers that get smaller and paler with each successive flowering during the bloom season, the flowers remain about the same eight inches in diameter. This time of year, the flowers don't last past dawn, but in the cooler months, they will sometimes last 18 hours or so.

18 comments:

Marie said...

WWWOOOWWW!!!
This is SO beautiful....

Hootin' Anni said...

We used to live in Tucson...for about 12 years, and I was just thinking the other day about the saguaro blossom out there. At first, that's what I thought this was.

Beautiful.

My GTS photos are posted. Hope you can stop by.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Aiyana .. I can understand why the flowers don't last as long in such heat in the day there. What a gorgeous flower though .. and such good detail !
Joy

Muum said...

That is beautiful - 8 inches - glad you didn't miss it, and glad you shared it with us. So, with the heat, do bees/pollinating insects go out at night?

kml said...

Wow - they only bloom in the dark? Good thing you know when they are about to bloom so you don't miss this beauty! They are gorgeous - thanks for sharing!

Dee said...

Gorgeous! I am so glad you were able to share this with us! I would love to see the cactus behind the bloom sometime!

Arty Allsorts said...

Wowser - huge flower and night flowering too - is it pollinated by moths then?

Found out what my mystery plant was - it's one of the saxifrages in case you were wondering :)

Teresa said...

How spectacular! Definitely worth staying up late for; glad you got the photo.

Claude said...

Great plant and fantastic flowers... is this one of the plants that is pollinated by fruit bats, like the saquaro, or is it up to night flying moths?

Eaglehawk said...

lovely flower.

jodi said...

What a remarkable flower, Aiyana! Glad you were able to see the bloom performance. I can't imagine being out in that sort of heat doing anything. "But it's a dry heat," right? Here it would be a sauna!

beckie said...

Aiyana, How fortunate for us that you went into the garden late. I can see why you would wait til after sundown though. Like others, I was wondering what insect is out at night(I know a lot are) that this one depends on to pollinate it? I have a moon flower soon to be blooming and have been wondering about it also. As always, you provide the last word in cacti! Enjoy coming here and seein the beauty and learning so many new facts.

inadvertentgardener said...

That is an amazing bloom, Aiyana -- I've never seen anything like it! Thanks for sharing the photo -- what beauty to have in your yard...

nikkipolani said...

Eight inch flowers sound amazing, Aiyana! That's a terrific photo.

Aiyana said...

Hi Everyone,
Thanks for your comments. The flowers are pollinated by night pollinators such as bats and hawk moths. They locate the flowers by their light color and fragrance. I have looked for both, and have yet to see any around when I go out to take photos.

Julie said...

WOW...this is ultra cool!

Lorian said...

Gorgeous flower! Amazing how perfectly white the petals are, no brown on the edges...you caught it at exactly the right time!

Kay said...

I also have an Argentine and I wanted to propagate it. I cut off an arm right at the main stem. Now, I have a question. Should I allow it to root the way it is with a very curved stem and plant it upright anyway or should I cut the stem off squarely? Thanks. I would be so appreciative if you would send an email to kaywhiffen@yahoo.com.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.