Queen of the Night

Rare Cactus Will Bloom Tonight at Selby Gardens

The gardens will host a viewing party for this once-a-year bloom.

By Megan McDonald May 31, 2017

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An example of a selenicereus cactus.

Image: Shutterstock

This post was updated at 2:45 p.m. on June 12, 2018.

Selby Gardens’ selenicereus cactus is getting ready to burst into spectacular bloom tonight—for one night only. 

Selenicereus is native to Central and South America and the Caribbean, and its name is derived from Selene, the Greek moon goddess, and cereus, the Latin word for candle. That’s appropriate, considering that once a year—as night falls on the gardens—giant yellow and white blossoms open up along the length of the plant and then close the next morning, when the sun rises. The cactus won't bloom again for another year. 

To watch the bloom, head to Selby Gardens tonight from 8-11 p.m. The Michael’s On East grill will be fired up and food and drink will be available for purchase. (The grounds will be closed, but there will be space on Palm Avenue to set up and enjoy the evening.) Feel free to bring cameras, flashlights, lawn chairs and bug spray. Coolers welcome, but no glass, please.

For more information, visit selby.org or call (941) 366-5731. 

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