Selenicereus grandiflorus

Queen of the Night is a snake-like cactus that twines around the trunks of trees in the forests of Central America. The long stems, with numerous aerial roots, are slender, only 2-3 cm across. They have five to seven sharp angles. The areoles are white-felted with yellowish spines. The plant takes its name from the magnificent blossoms that open at night. It is a pity that they last such a short time, for they dry up the morning after they open. They may be up to 30 cm (12 inch) long and have a relatively long tube covered with scales. The outer petals are orange-yellow, the inner petals pure white. They have a pleasant, vanilla-like fragrance.

Growing this species is not very difficult. It requires adequate heat and a light compost with plenty of humus. The best support for the plant is a bamboo pole. Greenhouse-grown specimens rapidly form stems several metres long. It requires warm conditions in winter.

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