TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Every summer thousands visit the gardens at Tohono Chul to catch a glimpse of the majesty and beauty of the Queen of the Night, the night-blooming cereus Peniocereus greggii.
When the summer heat begins to build, the buds of the Sonoran Desert native night-blooming cereus begin to appear. After a period of start-and-stop growth, the buds blossom in a mass blooming on one night.
Visit http://tohonochulpark.org/bloom-watch/ to sign up for email alerts, download their iPhone or Android app, and be sure to follow Tohono Chul on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for photos and up to the moment news.
Bloom Night guests will experience the magnificent Peniocereus greggii in its full glory with illuminated trails leading to each plant, delectable bites and refreshments from The Garden Bistro, lectures, and the chance to win or purchase a Queen of the Night.
Marvel at the gorgeous flowers and breathe in the intense and intoxicating scent at this one-of-a-kind event found nowhere else.
Tickets are available at the door for $5 for non-members, and admission is free for members and children under 12.
Bloom Night attendees need to:
- Wear closed-toe walking shoes
- Bring a flashlight
- Stay hydrated
- Bring a camera with a flash
Since the cactus cannot self-pollinate, the plants must bloom on the same evening to ensure successful pollination, usually by hawk moths. The more blooms that are open, the greater the chances of pollination.
“We’ve been studying the night-blooming cereus for over 20 years and we still don’t know what triggers the bloom. The best we can figure is there is some type of chemical communication amongst the cacti” said Lee Mason, Director of General Services for Tohono Chul, in a recent news release.
Bloom Night is no small feat considering the event cannot be called until the day of the bloom. Upon the official bloom call, Tohono Chul galvanizes its forces, enlisting dozens of volunteers for help, and using social media to promote the magnificent occasion.
Tohono Chul is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to enrich people’s lives by connecting them with the wonders of nature, art, and culture in the Sonoran Desert region and inspiring wise stewardship of the natural world.
For more information about Bloom Night please visit http://tohonochulpark.org/bloom-watch/ or call 520-742-6455