Night Blooming Cereus
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Night Blooming Cereus
ntroduced Photo: Tabish
Common name: Night Blooming Cereus, Queen of the Night, Lady of the night, Dragon fruit, Red Pitaya • Manipuri: ꯂꯩꯀꯥꯡ ꯊꯝꯕꯥꯜ Leikang Thambal • Marathi: Brahma Kamal ब्रह्म कमल
Botanical name: Selenicereus undatus    Family: Cactaceae (Cactus family)
Synonyms: Cereus undatus, Cereus tricostatus, Hylocereus undatus

Night-Blooming Cereus is a climbing cactus, native to the American tropics. The stems are 3-winged and green with wings that are 1 to 2 inches wide. Areoles are about 1.5 inches apart with 1-5 spines up to 1 cm long. They climb by use of aerial roots and can reach a height 30 feet or more growing on rocks and trees. As indicated by the name, the blooms appear at night and soon close after the day starts. In late spring to early summer the very large white fragrant flowers adorn the plant. Individual flower are 14 inches long by 12 inches across and very showy. If pollinated, they produce edible curious-looking red fruits up to 5 inches long. Fruit is popularly known as dragon-fruit.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Manipur

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