A rare cactus from the Amazon rainforest that has attracted interest from around the world has flowered for the first time in a British garden.
After keeping a night watch for several days, botanists at Cambridge University’s Botanic Garden finally got to witness the moonflower cactus, also known as Selenicereus wittii, flower in front of them — a phenomenon which usually starts at sunset and is over by sunrise.
The rare cactus actually bloomed earlier than expected, at around 3 pm, and the garden said it was about 11 inches long. The large white nocturnal flower emits a beautiful sweet-smelling fragrance as it blossoms, and the scent turns rancid after just two hours as it begins to wilt before dawn.
The plant is only found in the high water line of the floodplain rainforests of the Amazon basin, and Cambridge’s Botanic Garden is believed to be the only place where one can be found in the UK.
The short-lived blooming of the moonflower, which lasts just 12 hours from sunset to sunrise, was captured on a live stream and viewed by thousands of people around the world. Follow the source article to watch a timelapse of the rare event.