Sunday, September 15, 2019
Sawtooth Botanical Garden’s Slumber Party Plant a Hit
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Poo Wright-Pulliam posted this photo of one of the night-bloom cereus flowers at the Sawtooth Botanical Garden greenhouse.
 
Wednesday, September 4, 2019
 

STORY BY KAREN BOSSICK

PHOTOS BY POO WRIGHT-PULLIAM and KAREN BOSSICK

The summer blooms at the Sawtooth Botanical Garden were out in all their glory as patrons of the garden gathered for the garden’s annual Gimlets in the Garden fundraiser this past week.

But one bloom in particular was the talk of the evening.

 
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The bloom is nearly as big as a woman’s hand.
 

It was the night-blooming cereus, a flowering cacti also known as “the slumber party plant” because people organize parties to watch it bloom.

If you’re staging a party, better stock up on the finger hors d’oeuvres and wine. The flowers at the Sawtooth Botanical Garden greenhouse take their sweet time blooming—three hours from the time they start.

Some species bloom just once a year for a single night, explained Poo Wright-Pulliam, who recently stayed up until midnight with a handful of other flower lovers to photograph the plant. The plant looks like a giant pink pod hanging down from plant with giant green leaves.

Bit by bit the flower unfurls—almost like a doctor pulling away tiny bits of the skin during a facelift.

 
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This photo shows the night-blooming cereus in resting state. PHOTO: Karen Bossick
 

And, when the bloom is done, some cultures around the world put it to good use, eating the fruit or using it in Cantonese soup.

 
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The Sawtooth Botanical Garden has about 15 night-blooming cereus flowers. PHOTO; Karen Bossick
 
 

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