Thursday, May 19, 2011

Argentinean Giant Cereus Blooms Red!

This is the time of years when we see all the colors that this beautiful Sonoran desert has to offer. Below is a picture of an Argentinean Giant Cereus but it has an unusual color of bloom.

Most often this prolific cactus offers giant white blossoms that smell like jasmine flowers. A few years ago Kathy and I were driving down Scottsdale road and saw a few of these in bloom in 5-gallon containers.

I had never seen one of these in this red color and so we turned around and I bought one. I have about 120 different kinds of cactus that I’ve been collecting for the last 35 years. This one didn’t bloom for the first few years and I was worried that it would just come out white. But a few days ago I saw that it was ready to pop. This morning as I was putting together our new solar hot water system I noticed that it was in fact red and so when it popped I grabbed the camera and here it is. Another unusual fact is, that it is pollinated by a giant white moth that comes at night. My friend Ed has waited for it to come, as he flowers only set for a few nights a year. He waited on his patio with his camera. He said that the night it came the moon was full and it sounded like a big humming bird and was quite a bit larger. He got a few shots but has not sent them to me. If he sends them I’ll share them.

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