Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Queen of the Night Flash Mob Bloom at Tohono Chul is Nigh

Posted By on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 9:00 AM

2013s Queen of the Night in full bloom at Tohono Chul Park
  • 2013's Queen of the Night in full bloom at Tohono Chul Park

A magical summer occurrence unique to the Southwest and Tucson is almost upon us. We're not talking about July's watermelon eegee's; our late-afternoon monsoon showers; or making more than two lights in a row on Ina Rd.

Bloom Night is nigh.

According to Tohono Chul Park's Director of General Services Lee Mason, the legendary Queen of the Night Cereus flower, aka Peniocereus greggii, is poised to bless us with her annual one-night-only appearance.

I've been watching the Queen all weekend. On Friday afternoon it appeared to be on the verge of something happening. On Saturday they broke out of the stall stage (appears the change in weather had the desired effect) and on Sunday they were definitely moving. This morning they are in the 80 to 90 MM range, which tells me Bloom Night will happen sometime in the next 5 to 7 days. I will keep you informed so stay turned!

Tohono Chul is home to the world's largest private collection of the Cereus and up to 2500 people attend Bloom Night each year. The Cereus rely solely on hawk moths and other bugs for survival, as the flowers cannot self-pollinate. The flowers usually bloom en masse between the hours of 5 to 8 p.m.; soon after sunrise the next morning, its petals have already wilted.

The exact date of the bloom, however, is a mystery, thus is the allure of the Queen of the Night. The legend has been passed down through generations, from the oral history of the Tohono O'odham to a modern email notification list you may join here.


The Bloom of the Night even has its own fragrance line! I personally prefer it to I-10 & Prince's "Odor de Effluent."

We will keep you informed of the progress, but until then, check out some of the history of the Night Bloom and tips to better prepare yourself for this annual event.

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