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Queen of the Night Blooming

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Our Selenicereus “queen of the night” cactus once again made its annual bloom well worth the wait. The conditions over the last year have been ideal for a spectacular blooming for the cactus,  covering a live oak in front of our Botany building, which typically occurs only one night a year. By 8PM, spectators (estimated to eventually number over 200) began taking seats around the cactus-festooned tree. Vice President of Botany Bruce Holst gave an entertaining presentation, and by 9PM the sky darkened and the blooms were well on their way to fully opening. This year, nearly all the buds blossomed on a single night, displaying an estimated 1000 flowers spanning the trunk to the highest branches of the live oak. A flurry of visitors and reporters circled the tree with cameras and cell phones, excitedly vying for the best shots, as Michael’s On East provided grilled hamburgers and refreshments. Eventually, things settled down and the crowd faded by 11PM. It was a spectacular show of a one-night-only natural event with a fantastic turnout of nature lovers.

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