#9 Night flowersTrendstory

01 Queen of the night

 ‘Dear moon,
can we speak
  in flowers?’

Foto: Meike Fleskens

 ‘Dear moon,
can we speak
  in flowers?’

The elusive Queen of the Night is like a fleeting, awe-inspiring present for whom passes by. It blooms breathtakingly beautiful, only once a year, in the darkest midst of the night. In the morning it dies and disappears as sudden as she came, gently kissed by the golden moon and waved goodbye by the first pale beams of warm sunshine_______.

02 Queen of the night
03 Queen of the night

Image 1: Photography: Michelle Duijn, Styling: Meike Fleskens, image 2: Photography: Demian Dupuis, Styling: Cristina Fado, image 3: Robert Thornton Temple of Nature (1807), image 4: Photography: Chloé Le Drezen.

04 Queen of the night
05 Queen of the night

Image 1: Photography: Michelle Duijn, Styling: Meike Fleskens, image 2: Photography: Demian Dupuis, Styling: Cristina Fado, image 3: Robert Thornton Temple of Nature (1807), image 4: Photography: Chloé Le Drezen.

Hidden talents

In prehistory, the cereus’s thorns - also called dear horn-cactus - were used as fish hooks, needles, spikes or toothpicks. At the end of the second world war, cactus needles were sold in the United States as gramophone needles. With a nail file it could be tightened from time to time. They gave a rather excellent sound.

She’s one of the strangest plants of the desert, the night blooming Cereus. She’s a member of the cactus family that resembles nothing more than a dead bush most of the year. It is rarely seen in the wild because of its inconspicuousness. But for one night each year, its exquisitely scented flower opens as night falls, then closes forever with the first rays of the morning sun. And at that moment she’s shining bright and beautiful like a fallen star in the darkest night, our lovely queen of the desert. She’s a real die hard cactus, as she blooms not before she’s fully grown – after four to five years – and often after times of severe stress like extreme heath, cold and dryness. Then all of a sudden and without any warning, its exquisitely scented flower suddenly opens as night falls. And man, it’s a spectacular sight! The flowers usually begin to bloom at 9 or 10 p.m. and are fully open by midnight. After a few hours it already closes forever, as the first rays of the morning sun caress its petals and wave her goodbye...

Tall girl

The Cereus cactus is also a very determent species. She climbs slowly but steady and approaches like ten feet. The houseplant can become a rather untidy jumble of limbs and requires manicuring to keep it in habit. After the cut end is allowed to heal for several weeks, it is planted in dry sand, and then you just wait and grow your own personal desert garden.

04 Queen of the night
05 Queen of the night

Tall girl

The Cereus cactus is also a very determent species. She climbs slowly but steady and approaches like ten feet. The houseplant can become a rather untidy jumble of limbs and requires manicuring to keep it in habit. After the cut end is allowed to heal for several weeks, it is planted in dry sand, and then you just wait and grow your own personal desert garden.

Hidden talents

In prehistory, the cereus’s thorns - also called dear horn-cactus - were used as fish hooks, needles, spikes or toothpicks. At the end of the second world war, cactus needles were sold in the United States as gramophone needles. With a nail file it could be tightened from time to time. They gave a rather excellent sound.

Orange is the new black

With it’s extreme sharp and round shapes, the Cereus is a perfect indoor show pony. The cactus family is ready to dominate interiors worldwide. Combine with all kinds of green, earth and yellow. The hint of bright orange and red is on trend. Not only in interior decorating but in fashion too. Thanks to Balenciaga for example wild desertflowers are searching for the spotlight. They are all over on the catwalks next spring. Look at the new resorts collections 2018 by Gucci, Erdem, Rodarte, MSGM and lots of others. It’s wild flowers everywhere.

Film: Arantja Rosalina (Aurum Films), Styling: Meike Fleskens.

It’s all in the family

There are numerous romanticized names for the Cereus such as Queen of the Night and Princess of the Night. The name is an umbrella term for approximately seven different genera, which have the night blooming characteristic. The most common are Epiphyllum, Hylocereus or Selenicereus (Epiphyllum oxypetalum, Hylocereus undatus or Selenicereus grandiflorus).

Orange is the new black

With it’s extreme sharp and round shapes, the Cereus is a perfect indoor show pony. The cactus family is ready to dominate interiors worldwide. Combine with all kinds of green, earth and yellow. The hint of bright orange and red is on trend. Not only in interior decorating but in fashion too. Thanks to Balenciaga for example wild desertflowers are searching for the spotlight. They are all over on the catwalks next spring. Look at the new resorts collections 2018 by Gucci, Erdem, Rodarte, MSGM and lots of others. It’s wild flowers everywhere.

Spiritual maiden

Like spiritual grow occurs to mankind, this enchanting cactus only blooms in full after a brutal setback. Often it shelters in the shade of dessert shrubs, to find her inner strength. Like a valuable life lesson, her patience is always being rewarded. After years and years of waiting spectaculair fireworks of silken plumed nightflowers suddenly appear. As iriscident beams of lightning they decorate the indigo sky, striking it’s spectators with awe, softly reflecting the pale colours of the moon. These very fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers, are up to four inches wide and as much as eight inches long. The waxy, creamy-white petals are followed by a red-orange, short-spined elliptical, juicy, pleasant tasting and edible fruit. As if finally, after years of hard work, our lovely Cereus reached it’s top, and she can harvest and enjoy her reward. A true symbol of hope in these rough times_______.

06 Queen of the night
07 Queen of the night

Painting by Vin Servillon @findvin, Photo by Kriechstrom (via flickr).

Spiritual maiden

Like spiritual grow occurs to mankind, this enchanting cactus only blooms in full after a brutal setback. Often it shelters in the shade of dessert shrubs, to find her inner strength. Like a valuable life lesson, her patience is always being rewarded. After years and years of waiting spectaculair fireworks of silken plumed nightflowers suddenly appear. As iriscident beams of lightning they decorate the indigo sky, striking it’s spectators with awe, softly reflecting the pale colours of the moon. These very fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers, are up to four inches wide and as much as eight inches long. The waxy, creamy-white petals are followed by a red-orange, short-spined elliptical, juicy, pleasant tasting and edible fruit. As if finally, after years of hard work, our lovely Cereus reached it’s top, and she can harvest and enjoy her reward. A true symbol of hope in these rough times_______.

How to get your Cereus to bloom

Reduce watering and don’t fertilize during the fall and winter period so the plant slows growth and reserves energy for the blooms. Fertilize the plant in spring. Bring your cactus outdoors in summer but don’t forget to bring it in when temperatures begin to drop. You can force your Cereus to bloom by keeping the plant in a completely dark environment from dusk to dawn during the bloom season. This will mimic outdoor light. And if you get lucky it gets pollinated by a moth, and the plant produces large juicy red fruits you can eat.

Text
Rosanne Loffeld

TO THE NIGHT-
BLOOMING CEREUS

“Now departs day’s garish light, Beauteous flower! lift thy head, Rise upon the brow of night, And thy transient lustre shed. Night has dropped her dusky veil; All vain thoughts be distant far, While with silent joy we hail Flora’s radiant evening star.”

“When the morning dawns on high. Emblem just of earthly bliss, Wondrous stranger, fare thee well! What a brilliant dream it is, To the mournful heart you tell.”

Fragments from poem by Eliza Lee Cabot Follen

Text
Rosanne Loffeld