|Selenicereus grandiflorus subsp. var.|
Selenicereus grandiflorus is a cactus species originating from the Antilles, Mexico and Central America. The species is commonly referred to as Nightblooming Cereus, Queen of the Night (though these two terms are also used for other species), Large-flowered Cactus, Sweet-Scented Cactus or Vanilla Cactus. The true species is extremely rare in cultivation. Most of the plants under this name belong to other species or hybrids.
Mexico to South America. Climbing on trees and on rocks. 700m alt. Extremely variable, especially in Jamaica, stems with slightly wavy to strongly knobby margins occurs in the same plant. Much confused in cultivation. Many species of Selenicereus should be reduced to synonyms of subspecies of this species, differing merely in degree rather than in kind.
Stems scandent, clambering or sprawling, branching, sometimes forming tangles, producing aerial roots, stiff, to 10m long or more, (10)15-25(-30)mm thick; ribs (4-)7-8(-10), low, less so on older branches, separated by broad, rounded intervals, slightly wavy to strongly knobby; areoles small, wool white or greyish white, internodes (6-)12-20mm; spines 5-18, to 4,5-12mm, basally ca 0,25mm in Ø, acicular, elliptic or circular in cross section, bulbous basally, spreading, yellowish brown to brownish or yellow, grey in age, eventually deciduous]]; hairs from lower part of areole ± numerous white or brownish, mature vegetative areoles usually lacking hairs, juveline plants have spines shorter and fewer; epidermis glaucous green or bluish green, often ± purplish, smooth. Flowers 17-22,5 cm long, fragrant reminding or vanilla and orange-flower; pericarpel 25mm long, with bracteoles 5mm, strap-shaped and yellowish, covered with nearly white or tawny hairs and sharp bristles; receptacle 7,5-8,7 cm, bracteoles 5-14mm, strap-shaped to linear, yellowish with long, nearly white or tawny, wavy hairs and sharp bristles in their axils, ca 25mm long; outer tepals 7,5–10 cm long, averaging 4,5mm wide, linear-attenuate, light brown, salmon to pink buff, yellowish adaxially; inner tepals 7,5–10 cm long, 9- 12(-15)mm, shorter than outer tepals, wide, lanceolate, gradually narrowed into a pointed or acute apex, white; stamens 38-50mm long, delinate, white, anthers 1,5mm long, yellowish; style 15–20 cm long, often longer than inner tepals, 1,5mm greatest Ø, stigma lobes 7-12, ca 7,5mm long, slender. Fruit ovoid, 5–9 cm long, 4,5–7 cm thick, whitish, partly pink, pink, yellow or orange, covered with clusters of spines and hairs which soon drop off, juicy, the imbilicus small and inconspicuous.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Selenicereus grandiflorus. Brit. & Rose (Cereus grandiflorus, Mill.). Creeping or clambering vines: sts. stout, often 1 in. diam., bluish green: ribs 7 or 8, low: spines acicular, yellowish brown or brownish: fls. very large, fragrant, 6-8 in. long. Jamaica, but said also to be native of Mex., which is doubtless wrong.—A number of species resembling S. grandiflorus in a general way, but specifically distinct, are often to be found under this name in collections; they need further study. This species is used in the manufacture of a heart-tonic. CH
An easily cultivated, fast growing epiphyte or lithophytic plant. Needs a compost containing plenty of humus and sufficient moisture in summer. Should not be kept under 5°C (41°F) in winter. Perform best if grown in full sun. Extra light in the early spring will stimulate budding. Flowers in late spring or early summer, only blooms one night a year or several years and withers within hours.
Pests and diseases
Four subspecies are recognized:
- ssp. donkelaarii (Salm-Dyck) Ralf Bauer
- ssp. grandiflorus
- ssp. hondurensis (K.Schum. ex Weing.) Ralf Bauer
- ssp. lautneri Ralf Bauer
Hybrids: Selenicereus ×callianthus (Gaillard) Lindinger (1942). This is a hybrid between this species and Selenicereus pteranthus. Many plants under the name Selenicereus grandiflorus may belong to this cross. It is very similar to Selenicereus pteranthus, but stems more slender and spines, longer and yellowish.
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963