Common Name: Night Blooming Cereus, Queen of the Night Family: Cactaceae, Cactus Family
Size: 4 feet or so Growth Form: Slender and erect to sprawling but usually inconspicuous, the roots are deep, large and turnip shaped, the stems are gray green to gray and simple or with 2-5 branches it is narrowed toward base and has 4-6 prominent ribs. Leaves: SPINES black to yellowish-white, usually in 3 vertical rows; apical ones black, subulate to .03 in. long; basal 3-5 spines yellowish white throughout to only at tips, thinner, to .1 in. long, appressed, puberulent when young. Flowers are 4.5 inches in diameter. Fruits are bright red darkening in age.
Flower Color: Cream color and nocturnal. Flowering Season: June or July
Comments: This cactus is inconspicuous most of the year. When in bloom, it is easily spotted only in the evening and early morning when its spectacular night-blooming flowers are open. It is very popular in desert rock gardens and in the cactus trade; when a population is found in the desert, all too often the large, turnip-like roots are quickly dug up. It can be grown from stem cuttings, if the cut end is allowed to heal in shade for several weeks before it is planted in dry sand. The plant is legally protected in most of its range and should be left in the wild.
Queen of the Night or Night Blooming Cereus (Peniocereus greggii) only blooms one night a year. Bloom night was June 23rd 2018. The flowers are very fragrant.