Night-blooming Cereus

If only these bad boys of the plant world would read the botanical literature, they would know that they are supposed to bloom at night, hence the colloquial name Night Blooming Cereus. I took this photograph in the morning and later had a little epiphany–my gosh, there seems to be little excuse for this sort of ignorance. Today, all a self-respecting epiphytic cactus has to do is search the internet for protocols regarding flowering habits. Gone are the days of having to find mobile libraries and having to deal with books that are out of date, and, even more worryingly, having to endure the unwholesome glow of haughty librarians. And even though I am not prone to vaticinate, I reckon that cactus of the future will rely heavily on information gleaned from search engines. Can running for political office or spearheading a death cult be far behind? The inglorious future is full of uncertainties; however, I am confident that educated plant life is the key to our success, because there seems to be little hope of educated man ever getting his sorry act together.













  1. I thought you may have been hibernating….but I see that you are back 😀….now then I must confess I have been at the receiving end of some glowering from them unwholesome librarians …..but yay I survived😄


  2. Cereusly, you can’t believe that education of the prescriptive or directive kind–cybernetic or bibliotic–is what we need more of.
    Beauty does not always follow rules, and had this lovely cactus not had its own way with blooming, we may not have had your beautiful photos of itself. Besides, I wonder if it harbors delusions of becoming something other than what it’s “supposed to be”… delicately arrayed in white, with such gracefully flowing appurtenances.. It seems almost bridal….perhaps it hopes to marry a tulip…


    • Though I’m all for interracial marriages, sounding nuptial bells for a Netherlandish tulip accustomed to gelid days and nights and a bohemian cactus at home in the steamy jungles of South America seems cereusly flawed.


  3. Ah, some prickly debates you have introduced…
    Fortunate for you, though, to see the controverting Night-blooming Cereus in the glory of full light.


    • Cereusly, prickly–my readers are putting me to shame. Who says that wit, in the golden age of texting, has bid us adieu?


  4. le mariage d’une hollandaise et d’un sud américain ont donné naissance à une beauté en robe jaune et blanc! ils ne manque que la musique pour la faire danser toute la nuit ! une valse peut-être ?


  5. For the love of Cactus! Ah Propsero this specimen had a mind of its own and gave a spectacular show – your close-ups showcase its elegance in the light of day. The plant seems quite large, is it more of a size of bush or shrub? Search Engines – difficult to live without them. Who knew 20 years ago that technology would be weaved so tightly around our lives as it is today – good or bad, all depends . . . have a lovely weekend.


  6. Amen Brother Prospero! And now that I’ve landed in a more temperate and moist clime, I might have a few beauties, er future leaders, for your eyes very soon. Vaticinate – good one!


  7. Really stunning – a beautiful mixture of what I elegantly (perhaps crassly because I am food obsessed) see as a corn on the cob/champagne flute filled with a runny poached egg. Educated man will always be one step behind nature, no matter how clever we are in our creativity, to rival nature’s beauty is an unattainable philosophy but that doesn’t stop us from trying, especially to make up for the negative aspects of our species.


  8. it looks so huge!!! how big can it be, this wondrous flower?

    “educated plant life is the key to our success, because there seems to be little hope of educated man ever getting his sorry act together” – i think i have just found the motto to be hung above the door of our faculty department, where i have long planned to bring some of my potted plants!!! :-)))


    • Hopefully very few of your faculty members spend any time in the catacombs of this blog, where they would learn that they rank somewhat below a Boston fern or an African violet in regard to perspicacity and acumen.

      Still, your idea has merit. If the faculty won’t go to the jungle, bring the jungle to the faculty. (That’s my motto. Make it yours.)

      And what do you make of dumb cane (Dieffenbachia)? Does it also have more intellectual prowess than your average faculty member? Actually, and this is when you discover how educational this blog actually is, the epithet dumb refers to the fact that Dieffenbachia leaves are poisonous; and if ingested, they cause a swelling of the tongue, and the unfortunate academic, who had obviously missed lunch and was looking for a way to slake the heavenly fire of hunger, can no longer speak and becomes ‘dumb.’

      * slake the heavenly fire… how Spenserian of me!

      And catacombs is such a beautiful metaphor for the comments section!

      I’m done now. You may start moving in the bromeliads…


  9. Love the exchange between you and Karen, Prospero. I have nothing better:)


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