‘Tis a rare flower that blooms in Southwest Florida The night-blooming cereus

June 12, 2020
By Olivia Cameron

One of the strangest plants of Southwest Florida, the night blooming cereus, is a member of the cactus family that resembles nothing more than a dead bush most of the year. It is rarely seen in the wild because of its inconspicuousness. But for one midsummer’s night each year, its flower opens as night falls, then closes forever with the first rays of the morning sun. These very fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers, which bloom for only one night in June or July, are up to four inches wide and as much as eight inches long. The waxy, creamy-white, many-petaled flowers are followed by a red-orange, short-spined elliptical fruit about three inches long.
The night-blooming cereus has sparse, angular, lead-gray, twiggy stems about 1/2 inch in diameter. 
Photos by Dusty