Dark Matter

Magical 'Queen of the Night' Flowers Are Blooming All Over Sarasota

The flowers bloom only after dark, and for only one night each year.

By Cooper Levey-Baker June 8, 2021

For plant lovers in the Sarasota area, it's a magical time of year—when white cereus flowers bloom at night, popping from tree trunks and branches like ghostly paper lanterns.

The night-blooming cereus, known as the "queen of the night" or by its scientific name, Selenicereus grandiflorusis actually a type of cactus that grows as a vine along trees. Before it blooms, you will see a slender orange bud appear on the vine. After it grows dark, those buds will burst into life, then eventually shrivel and fall to the ground.

Sarasota's Marie Selby Botanical Gardens on Sunday hosted a viewing party for people who wanted to witness the flowers bloom on one of the gardens' trees. Dozens of people sat in a circle around the tree, watching the bloom occur. If you missed it, the event was also streamed on Facebook. Catch up on this rare, otherworldly wonder here:

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