Peniocereus greggii – Nightblooming Cereus
Scientific Name: Peniocereus greggii
Synonym: Cereus greggii
Common Names: Nightblooming Cereus, Night Blooming Cereus, Desert Night-blooming Cereus, Queen of the Night
Growth Habit: Shrub, Cactus
Arizona Native Status: Native
Habitat: Desert. It is typically found growing under desert shrubs.
Flower Color: White
Flowering Season: Summer. These cacti bloom spectacularly for a short, somewhat unpredictable period of time in June or July. These were photographed on the Fourth of July.
Height: To 7 feet (2.1 m) tall
Description: The showy flowers are nocturnal and only open for one night. The individual flowers are up to 4 1/2 inches (11 cm) across and have shining white, cream, or pinkish inner tepals, greenish white outer tepals with a brownish midstripe, white anther filaments, and a white style. The flowers are followed by light to dark red, elliptical, 3 inch (7.6 cm) long fruit. The stems are long, slender, dull green or brownish in color, and have 4 to 6 ribs with flattened, downward-projecting spines. These drab, stick-like cacti can be very difficult to spot unless blooming or fruiting.
Fragrant – The flowers are not only amazingly beautiful, they are also wonderfully fragrant at night.
Legal Status – Protected Native Plant (Peniocereus greggii var. greggii and P. greggii var. transmontanus are Salvage Restricted)
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Cactaceae – Cactus family
Genus: Peniocereus (A. Berger) Britton & Rose – peniocereus
Species: Peniocereus greggii (Engelm.) Britton & Rose – nightblooming cereus
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