🐾 Maybe the reason I love animals so much, is because the only time they have broken my heart is when theirs has stopped beating.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Cereus jamacaru - One-night flower

to blossom
breathe life in
raise your face to the sun
drink the rain
shiver in the mist
revel in the moment.
one day
to be all the beauty
that you are.

Cereus jamacaru (Queen of the Night, Nagblom, One-night Flower)
Classification: Cactaceae

Referred to incorrectly as Cereus peruvianus in South Africa.

This cactus is growing next to our staff quarters and Solly, our Mechanic, was highly upset when I told him I intended chopping it down. He managed to convince me (not that it took too much convincing!) to let it stay, promising that he will keep an eye on it and not let it spread. It has been declared an 'unwanted' alien invader here in South Africa due to its fast-spreading habit and is also spread by birds eating the seeds, so it's inevitable that I will soon be removing it.

The Peruvian Apple Cactus, Cereus repandus, is a large, erect, thorny columnar cactus found in South America as well as the nearby ABC Islands of the Dutch Caribbean. It is also known as Giant Club Cactus, Hedge Cactus, cadushi and kayush. With an often tree-like appearance, the Peruvian Apple Cactus' cylindrical grey-green to blue stems can reach 10 meters (33 ft) in height and 10-20 cm in diameter.

It flowers only once a year, normally in June, and the beautiful white or pink nocturnal flowers, with an intoxicating scent, remain open for only one night.

Ink sketch and colour wash on Bockingford 300gsm

There is actually great confusion over the name of this cactus, as the name Cereus is used for various cacti. The species name, peruvianus, suggests that it is endemic to Peru, but that is a botanical error. This plant is actually endemic to Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina.

Kamera : Kodak EasyShare C195



  1. DON'T CUT IT DOWN!!! My aunt gave me a cutting a few tears ago, and I nurtured it for 2 years before it finally budded and then bloomed. What a GLORIOUS flower!

    1. I know Kathryn, these also only flower a couple of times a year. The problem is, it spreads into the surrounding veld and threatens our natural vegetation. Currently this pest cactus is under complete biological control - A mealybug, Hypogeococcus pungens, and a stem-boring cerambycid beetle, Alcidion cereicola, from South America, were released against it. So there you have it - it's no use controlling my own single plant, because the seeds get dispersed by birds, that's why they're so strict here.

  2. My Cereus jamacaru blooms almost every month in summer (wich is basically half of the year...), when the moon is full and it's about to rain :) Maybe because those are its original lands (Brazil, northeast)

    Really lovely watercolor, I'm considering getting it tattoed.

    1. Wow! I'm sure it will look FANTASTIC as a tattoo AnaLu! And thank you for the very interesting information on your Cereus - it's amazing how plants react when taken out of their environment. Unfortunately I've now had to remove my Cereus as it is regarded as an invader here in south Africa. Thanks for stopping by, appreciate your visit!



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