Home | Arizona y Sonora > Desert wildflowers > White to cream flowers > Night-blooming cereus
Common names: queen of the night, reina de la noche.
Blooms mid-June into July in southern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico and west Texas.
Flowers are 8 inches (20 cm) long. Branches up to 10 feet long (3 meters).
Most of the year this cactus is almost invisible. Its branches look like dead sticks twined up in the supporting shade of a desert shrub. The narrow, bluish-grey, ribbed branches are around 2-5 feet long (60-150 cm) with small spines along the ribs. The bulbous tap root can weigh over 80 pounds (40 kg), but is normally 5-15 pounds (2 to 7 kg).
Each waxy blossom opens for a single night before wilting at dawn. The elegant white petals and stamens, along with the intensely fragrant perfume, make an unforgettable display, especially if many open at once. The edible fruits are bright red.
More succulent varieties from farther south are grown in Tucson's older gardens. The plants sprawl along a warm wall like fat vines. Neighbors are invited to watch the spectacular opening of these fragrant, exotic flowers.
Browse white to cream: Ajo lily | Datura | Desert onion | Desert star | Desert zinnia | Fleabane | Night-blooming cereus | Prickly poppy | Saguaro cactus | Tackstem
Browse color tocs: white to cream | yellow to yellow-orange | pink to red-orange | blue to purple | green, etc.
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