Vespertine Blooms of Epiphyllum Oxypetalum

Night Blooming Cereus

Epiphyllum oxypetalum

I used to think these Epiphyllums only bloomed once a year. Actually they bloom intermittently throughout the warm season, putting on as many as a dozen buds or as few as one at a time. The last blooms this year were in October. The fragrance is spicy sweet and heavy.

They can be saved for display the next day by cutting just after they are open and refrigerating overnight. Still, they are ephemeral and last for less than a day. I think they are worth the effort to bring to bloom.

Night Blooming Cereus

For a Night

Visit other Ephemeral notions at Garden Walk Garden Talk where the Word for Wednesday is Ephemeral.



  1. Fabulous capture of these night blooms…quite the definition of ephemeral…

  2. Have you posted something like this already in the past when they just bloomed? I forgot if it is you or someone else who did, but they are always lovely. I also posted them as buds because i always miss their opening in the province. Its blooming here in the tropics coincided with yours, September to October and staggered. I already planted some plants and hope they can flower already next year.

    • Nell Jean

       /  November 3, 2011

      It was I, Andrea. Every time they bloom I try to make a new post just because they’re so exotic. Then of course, they fit ephemeral so well so I picked photos from several blooms back. I hope you get blossoms all through the summer next year.

  3. Beautiful Blooms!
    Great photography!
    It looks like you had a lot of blooms open at one time, and more buds to open the next night.
    I had three blooms on my plant – you can see my blog post on october 17th.
    Can you leave your plant outside all year? I have to bring mine into the house to protect from freezing here in North Mississippi.
    Thanks for sharing your photos

    • Nell Jean

       /  November 3, 2011

      I do bring mine inside. They will freeze easily.

  4. These are big and beautiful! They look exactly like my dragon fruit flower which also blooms for one night only.

    • Nell Jean

       /  November 3, 2011

      I think they are related, One. Dragon Fruit are a real cereus; Night Blooming Cereus isn’t really a cereus. Names get confusing.

  5. TufaGirl

     /  November 2, 2011

    I so enjoyed your beautiful blooms. I had a plant but lost it in a cold winter a couple years ago. Full moon blooms were worth the wait as they are spectacular and ephemeral.

  6. What beautiful flowers, and even more special for being, as you say, ephemeral.

  7. What a fascinating plant! Really nice photos too!

  8. Flowers that bloom for one day amaze me. I also wonder why for so short a time, especially when they are larger and showier. They certainly are beautiful and what a sight to see open at night. By definition that I found, flowers that bloom for one day are described a ephemeral. Such a nice term for such beauties. Thanks for joining.

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