Thursday, October 8, 2009


Queen-of-the-Night (Epiphyllum oxypetalum) grows in the bay window near a Bay Tree (for both seasoning and humour). If it didn't slouch, it could touch the ceiling. A friend gave me a cutting from her plant, and warned that it's considered the ugliest plant in the Universe. Naturally, I adore it. It has an endearingly gangly aspect and arches over my drafting table like an octopus chandelier. (A stretched-out scarf looped around a sawed-off hockey stick barely improves its posture.) When it eventually blooms, the flowers are huge, resemble a waterlily, and have a warm-spicy-citrus-exotic fragrance. They open near midnight and wither by morning. It flowers at the end of a long curved stem explaining another common, if less-poetic name, Gooseneck Cactus. On August 9th, my Queen-of-the-Night bloomed for the first time, with a second blooming two days later. Inspired, it grew two extra flower buds, which bloomed the same night, on Sunday (October 4th), the night of the full moon. The flower in the photograph is 24cm in diameter. I wish I could post it's fragrance as well.

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