The pictures featured in your article do not look like the Queens of the Night's blooms. Rather, they look more like Hookeryi another genus? I love both types of blossoms, the plants and their shared characteristic (night blooming). QOTN blooms tend to fade quickly after the night hours are gone. Hookeryi's blossoms sometimes, lingered well into the morning hours -- according to my personal experience.
When I was a little girl, my dad would bring the QOTN across the street from the greenhouses the evening that she was going to bloom. About 8 p.m. (we live near Phila., PA) the first opening would show at the end of the flower. Around midnight it would be fully open, then would begin to soften and "fade". We would be allowed to stay up for the occasion. It would fragrance the entire house. One could not SEE movement but, if not watching it for ten minutes or so, change was detectable. Much fun! Great memories! (I am now 72 years old!!) =)
As an adult, I had one that was preparing to display several blooms. I opened the door to the greenhouses and invited folks to stop in. We even had a color photo in our local newspaper. What fun! Always the QOTN timetable has been about the same - at least from start to maximum. Our variety looked more like the larger, more dramatic pictured blossoms...frilly inside, intricate external petals. I've heard it is an American cactus and is pollinated by bats, but haven't had that confirmed.
Thank Ms Elanor for such nice memory you've shared. I've invited neighbors over to enjoy them in years past. I hope the neighbors would be inspired to treasure those experience and in turn will share it with others.
Currently I've 3 buds that are developing. I hope to get to enjoy them fully blossom before 1st frost hits.
Lily_love, that's such a good photo. Someone had written inquiring how to tell when it was going to open. The plant I have must be this same kind. This straight hanging bud eventually (in only a few days) develops a goose-neck shape. The end bulb on that neck (sort of the goosehead) gets bigger and it's important to check it late afternoon until one can tell if it is going to bloom that night. Exciting!
Yes Mamme, the above bud will curve upward (goose neck shape as you've mentioned) before it will open -- thus sometimes it is called 'Dutchman's Pipe' cactus... I understand there are moths that are nocternal that may pollinate flowers as such that bloom at night. Bats too are nocternal creatures, I can see & appreciate how they may frequent the sweet smelling aroma emiting from the flowers. Thank you, for your compliment on the clarity of the picture.
Yes, the buds on my plant developed very similarly, forming a very round bulb at the end of the bloom stalk just a few hours before blooming. From the number of blooms I've missed, though, I'm obviously not very good at telling when bloom night is close!
I'm very excited at the moment, because I have another epi (an orchard cactus that's been looking rather scrawny in its hanging basket for several years now) with a bud!