Archive for July 2009

Queen of the Night

In 1991 we moved to Yuma, Az and within the first few months a friend (Mary) invited us to dinner. In her backyard was the most amazing cactus garden with cactus as tall as her house. She later presented me with an arm off one of her cacti. Arizona? Cactus? No big deal, right? Wrong. What makes this cactus amazing is that it blooms once a year. Still no big deal, right? Wrong. Each bloom opens at night, one night and closes back up during the next day. So in order to enjoy the blooms….you must stay up most of the night.

My “Queen of the Night” bloomed with one bloom the first and the second year I had it. It didn’t bloom again and in 1997 we moved back to California. I brought the cactus with me even though it hadn’t bloomed. There was something about that plant that struck a cord with me.

In 2006 my “Queen of the Night” bloomed for the first time in 15 years! One bloom, one night. In 2007 it bloomed again…one bloom, one night. In 2008 two blooms. This year, 2009, my “Queen of the Night” bloomed again but this year…..18 blooms!!!  We’ve enjoyed watching each and every bud grow and became quite proficient at determining which night each bloom would open.  On one night two opened together…one night three…and one night five blooms opened together. Each bloom is big and beautiful, white with lots of green stamen in the center.

Some may wonder why I have such a facination with this plant. I’m not sure why it started but the continuation is that no matter what I do this plant does what it wants. During the move back to California the plant was in a dark storage garage for a month without any water or even light. It survived anyway. There have been times when I’ve watered it and taken care of it and times when I’ve neglected it, yet it survived and didn’t bloom. It is a plant and it does what it does no matter what I want or do. I have no control or say so. It makes the times it blooms so much more special. That is what the past two weeks of blooms have been, “special”.


1 comment July 1, 2009






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