Are you Cereus?!?!

 

The night-blooming cereus is going to bloom.  Again.  Possibly with 11 flowers.  Yes.  You read that right.

Eleven.

It also occurs to me that some of you may not know why this is such a big deal.  Mr. Hegeler had a number of night-blooming cereus plants.  They were, at the time, rare to begin with; they were almost unheard of in La Salle, Illinois, because they are tropical plants.  Mr. Hegeler had the advantage of a greenhouse that was fitted with steam to create a humid environment.  According to family lore, he was the only one who knew when they were going to bloom.  And since they only bloomed one night per year, it was a big occasion.  The Hegelers invited many people to watch the cereus plants bloom.  They had food, and music, and it was a big big event.

We have the last of the original cereus plants in the master bathroom on the bedroom floor.  It is over 110 years old, and it has not bloomed since 2008.  A second, younger cereus plant (about 90 years old) was returned to us around 2008-9.  It was a cutting of one of Hegeler’s originals that got so big, the owner didn’t want it anymore and gave it back. They said it had never bloomed.

But then Jerry Feyerharm walked into our lives.  Last year, he got it to bloom with three beautiful flowers.  This year, there were seven.  And now, in a totally unprecedented event, it looks like it will bloom again.  With eleven flowers.  I’ve talked to some serious cereus owners in Tennessee, Georgia, and Louisiana.  They don’t believe me.  I’m not kidding.  One actually accused me of lying.

So now you see why it’s such a big deal for us.  This is living history.  This is part of the family legacy that we (and by we I mean Jerry) have been able to bring to life.  It’s so rare, and so special.  The blooms, by the way, are fragrant and very beautiful.

When is it going to bloom again, you ask?  *clears throat* Funny thing…I don’t know.  It seems that Mr. Hegeler took that little secret with him.  But I can say that it should be within the next week or so.  So just like last time, I will be checking on it daily and will give as much notice as possible.

Here are the first pictures I took when Jerry first noticed the buds, and then the pictures I took just yesterday.

We’re gonna have one very cereus celebration!  (HA!  I crack myself up.)

Tricia Kelly, Tour Director

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