Rare moonflower cactus blooms again at Cambridge University Botanic Garden
A rare cactus has flowered again, two years after half a million people watched it bloom during lockdown.
Cambridge University Botanic Garden's Moonflower bud, also known as Strophocactus wittii, first flowered in February 2021.
That was the first ever flowering of the plant in the UK and it captured the attention of over 500,000 people during lockdown via a YouTube livestream.
After much anticipation, the moonflower bloomed again on Saturday afternoon.
It spirals around tree trunks and only stays in bloom for twelve hours, so can only be seen in bloom on the Botanic Garden livestream until around 4am on Sunday.
The bud usually starts to flower towards sunset, but this one started several hours earlier.
On Saturday morning the Botanic Garden said the flower was getting ready to bloom as they tweeted: "It looks as though things might be happening with our Moonflower (Strophocactus wittii) bud!
"It's now 29.5cm, the bud has swollen & the tips are starting to separate out."
The flower is usually found in the Amazon rainforest.
The plant’s name, Selenicereus wittii, is derived from the Greek (Selene), from the Greek moon goddess, and cereus, meaning “candle” in Latin, referring to the nocturnal flowers.
The species name wittii comes from the man who discovered it – Karl Moritz Schumann (1851 – 1904) was born in Germany and worked as a botanist at the Botanical Museum of Berlin.
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