Sunday, 13 July 2008

The Lady of the Night

I stayed up to wait for these. I have missed the blooms a few times before but I made sure that I did not miss it this time.

at 10.38pm

at 11.07pm
By its side is another one waiting to open, most probably tomorrow night.

at 12.44am

These are blooms of a variation of the Epiphyllum oxypetalum species, sometimes call the orchid cactus because of its gorgeous large flowers. At full bloom the flower can reach a span of 15cm. This beautiful flower is also called the ‘Belle de Nuit’ or the Lady of the Night.

The flowers have a slight sweet scent, opens up on warm nights and closes up before daybreak. The sad part is that the flower only lasts one night. The next morning the flower will droop limply until it finally shrivels dry and drop off from the stalk.

Locally, the flower is also known as the Bakawali.

I am afraid I deserve a royal reprimand. I have since found out that the Lady is not a lady but a Queen. It is also called the Dutchman's Pipe cactus - must be because part of the flower stalk curves upwards when it blooms (see second photo). See here for more information.


  1. What a beautiful flower! I know I'd be tempted to stay up past my bedtime. Thanks for sharing the photos!

  2. WOW! What a spectacular bloom! I'm so glad you stayed up and got the pictures. That is a beautiful sight to see. How sad that it is only one night. It is just beautiful.

  3. Oh they are so awesome, truely beautiful and delicate to look at. It was worth staying up for seeing them - and thanks for sharing the pictures with the rest of us.

  4. Hello Faizon. cantik the flower. The bud is abit like dragon fruit.

  5. Please give my regards to "The Lady"! She is gorgeous. I can see why you would stay up all night to see this. What a shame to have ever missed them.

  6. This morning, I was surprised to see that there was another bud that has yet to bloom. So, I can expect another two to open up tonight.

    As expected, the three that bloomed last night has closed up and drooping from the stalk.

    The flowers are beautiful, and smells lovely too.

    Reen, I think this is from the same plant family as the dragon fruit. The flowers come out from edges of the flat leaf-like stems. Tapi rasa creepy juga la .... ada bau-bau wangi tengah-tengah malam macam tu, he.. he.....

  7. It's lovely!!!!!! It's good luck you know. They bloom so rarely!

  8. I've never heard of this flower. It is amazing. Now I just got to see one in person!

  9. Is it the moonflower? or is that another variety altogether?

  10. Wickedtats, good for me if it does bring good luck, ;-)

    Hi Maureen, I am not sure if it is also called the moonflower. It could well be.

  11. Oh! Long time I didn't see one! My mom had a plant and once it bloomed over 10 of them at the same time! It was a complete show. I used to take photos each time the plant bloomed. Mom loved it but couldn't take it with her when she moved. I think I'll try to get her one. Ours had a little of pink on the borders.

    Yours is completely white and looks so pretty!


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