Night Blooming Cereus

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On 10 July, I wrote about a flower bud starting on one of the six foot tall Cereus cactus columns in my garden in San Jose, California. Some years, there are many flowers but this year, just two. The buds take two weeks to develop into blooms and then last just a few hours. This flower chose to bloom after dark. By morning, the nine-inch-across bloom will be crumpled in on itself and gone. Imagine me juggling a flashlight and camera while standing on the boulders in my cactus garden at night. Here are pictures showing the growth of this spectacular flower:

June 10:
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June 21:
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June 26 – Morning:
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June 26 – Night:
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Aftermath

That particular cactus bloom surprisingly lasted into the next day. It has now started its journey from flower to fruit. More pictures:

27 July:
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27 July:
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1 August:
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6 August:
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Images Copyright 2012 by Katy Dickinson

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