Saturday, August 20, 2011

The old cereus returns (and so do I) - August 2011

It's been a long time since I updated these pages. Just too busy. This page started as a place to put pictures of our night-blooming cereus plants that didn't fit on the webpage I created years ago. That original cereus was gravely damaged in January 2007 by a series of hard freezes (it can get below freezing in Los Angeles).

The plant was thought to be dead, but eventually new sprouts emerged from the soil. Gradually, it returned to health, becoming a very prolific producer of flat, green leaves... but no flowers. A few weeks ago, about a dozen buds were spotted on the original plant as well as two others that were separated out from the original after it revived. All three participated in this series of blooms that spanned three nights. There are no buds remaining on the plant that I have been able to detect, so this is probably it for the season.

I'm not especially fond of this particular batch of photographs, but without further ado, here are some of the pictures.

Most of these shots were fused from three different exposures using a program called Photomatix Pro. I don't have a lot of experience with HDR photography, so this is something of a learning experience.

I've been trying to recreate this backlit shot for some time. I like the original very much, but it's an old 2 megapixel shot, which means it does not bear much enlargement.

That's all for now.



At 4:59 AM, Anonymous Gayle said...

Glad you and the flower are back. I had 17 blooms to open last night on a plant that has survived since the late 70's, even through one event of freezing weather. I am in S. Carolina.
Your photos are magnificent! Thanks for sharing.

At 4:19 PM, Anonymous Gayle C., South Carolina said...

I have enjoyed your pictures for quite some time. Glad you "returned."
My cereus is the same variety as yours. I have had it since the late '70's.
Last Wednesday night, 9/7, I had 17 open blooms with 2 the following night. Magnificent! I'm no photographer like you, lacking the technology for it.
I have found in literature several care hints, as well as those given me by the dear lady who gave me my first cutting. These have enabled me to keep it growing well.
My cereus has a history of stories. For example, at one time I had divided it and had two gigantic plantings and had 32 blooms at one time. However, I allowed it to get too cold and had to start over.
It is by far my favorite plant.

At 12:20 AM, Anonymous John said...

I seem to remember reading once that it takes a year for the flower to form inside the areole before it actually flowers. That is, assuming nothing happens to it in the meantime! A lot of energy for a one-night florescence. Nice to see you're posting some again; I, too, have been distracted.

At 3:22 AM, Anonymous Virginia Magboo said...

I'm moving soon from Boston To Vashon Is, WA, and will take one of these plants with me. Shouldn't be too hard because they are strong and won't need water for a while. But I need to get rid of all the others and so am judging of those friends who like plants/gardening, who my "real friends" are and so deserve to get one of them!



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