Blog

May
10
Summertime Magic: Florida's Night Blooming Cerus

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Florida is full of exotic plants and animal species placed in wild and fascinating ecosystems. One of the most interesting plant species found in Florida is a cactus that blooms only one night of the year during the summer months. This flower has been related to the moon as it distinctively blooms as a pale white color once the sun has gone down. Once the sun rises it begins to wilt and dies within the morning, the last of its blooming for the rest of the year. For 364 days of the year the plant is a prickly snakelike vine that can appear quite sinister and yet blooms one of the most beautiful flowers imaginable. Henry VIII had these flowers in his royal gardens at Hampton Court to outdo the French King's garden. It's referenced in many books and even a common ingredient in Cantonese foods. In Hawaii, you can find Night Blooming Cerus vigorously twining itself to lava rock. To have the opportunity to view it here in Sarasota, visit Mare Selby Botanical Gardens- although it may be tricky to catch them on the exact date of their bloom! Keep an eye out as the vines line the outside walls of the gardens. If you don't manage to catch the Cerus blooming this summer there are still many stunning native tropical plants to enjoy especially at our local botanical gardens where hundreds are displayed. It is a great way to learn more about Florida's tropical plant life and enjoyable place to take your children this summer with the new Children's Rainforest Garden that recently opened to the public. It has waterfalls, canopy walks, research stations and more! Children between the ages of 4-17 get in for $10/15 or free if you are a member and if you are a local Sarasota resident, it is well worth the membership!

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