Thursday, July 31, 2008

Random plant event: Cereus peruvianus flower bud

These Cereus peruvianus are from work.1 When they arrived, at the beginning of June, one of them had a flower bud on it, but it dropped the bud within a few days and I figured that was probably the end of that story.

Maybe not, as it turns out. Though I'm not likely to get a good picture of the bloom, even if it does reach maturity, because I'm not there at night when it would open. We've had a large Epiphyllum bloom recently (last week) too, and because it's a night-bloomer, I didn't get to see that one either.

Still, props to the cactus for making the attempt. Especially if it's the same plant that dropped the previous bud. And who knows, maybe I'll get lucky and catch the tail end of it some morning when I get to work.

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The picture above was taken last Saturday, and I wrote the post on Sunday. Since then, as of yesterday (Wednesday), the bud did actually develop into a flower, which was awesome. However -- the majority of pictures I took of it are crap, which is disappointing. Below are the best ones I got.

I should probably acknowledge that this is an improvement on not getting to see the flower at all, like I expected.

It had closed up by about 1 PM, but at least everybody got to see it. I'd moved it up to the front counter for the day, figuring that if ever it was going to catch the eye of a customer, today -- and by today I mean Wednesday, which is when I'm writing this -- would be the day. But no.


1 (My own large Cereus peruvianus are officially deceased, in that I've taken them off the spreadsheets, but in actuality they're alive and sitting outside on the little sliver of space between our door and the neighbor's door. I gave up hope with the mealybugs some time ago, but the husband wouldn't permit me to throw the plants away, so I still fight mealybugs during infrequent fits of optimism. The plants themselves are having a ball out there: after holding steady at about 5 feet tall for a couple years, they've suddenly started to grow again, both of them, and the more ambitious of the two has put on five and a half inches in about a month, and is now taller than I am. Which of course just makes me more conflicted, because I want them to grow and be happy and all that, but I don't want to bring them back in and reinstate them on the spreadsheets and everything if they're going to die a slow lingering mealybug death and take other plants down with them.)


sheila said...

These guys do seem to love life outdoors. At work, we have one sitting out in the yard, and it must have dozens of buds forming. I only go by the shop every few weeks, so I'll probably miss the flowers. :(

no1uno said...

I just had an epiphyllum hookeri blooming event at my house a couple weeks ago. I had some trouble getting good photos too - bad light, bad flash on the white flower - but I did get some good ones.

I love your blog so far, especially the post on Hylocereus undatus (dragonfruit producer) that has been hiding at Lowe's the whole time. I am going to liberate some of them soon and try to grow them.

I am currently trying to dry some sections of E. hookeri to propagate. I was wondering if you had any advice on this process. New to your blog so I do not know if you have already covered this somewhere, but I could really use some good advice. My email is dejanolan at gmail and I would love to hear from you. I also might be interested in sending you a hookeri cutting if you don't have one. The blooms are as good as any cereus, and the fragrance is sublime. I will send some pictures if you like.

Aiyana said...

Great photos. The short lives of cactus flowers are their only negative for me. That, and a more than a few stabs.

Daniel said...

Your blog is lots of fun to read.

It may seem perverse, but it's the ephemeral nature of cactus flowers that makes me want to grow them. It took 3 years for my Epiphyllum oxypetallum to bloom. When I saw that it was going to, I stayed up half the night to watch it unfold, then close up again.

Even run-of-the-mill Opuntias have the same effect on me. Other plants may have more elegant flowers, but these are the ones that I obsess over. It's got to be because of the challenge and brief period of bloom.