Bloom Watch #2 – No Hints of Blooming Yet

June 2, 2021

Time to Wait

This morning we strolled through the North Loop and reflected as we counted the furry white buds sprouting from the dark, slender stems of The Queens. The larger buds seemed to have halted growing, and with luck, the smaller buds may yet catch up. They will be stalled until they know the time is right. No hints of blooming just yet.

Last summer’s intense heat and drought had a noticeable impact on our desert landscape. Even with supplemental water from our dedicated staff, the desert keepers, the solar heat and hot winds took a toll. Each desert plant species has their own unique adaptations and responses to environmental stress. Resilient, The Queens grow from a starchy underground tuber which allows them to store moisture and energy.

They wait out poor growing conditions with the majority of their body in the cool insulated soil. By expending less energy on blooms they continue to thrive in our desert. Several reliable plants are taking time this year to replenish themselves. Each beautiful bud we find reminds us how precious natural resources are not only for providing us with clean air, food, and water but for spiritual sustenance. The Queen of the Night embodies the spontaneity of the Sonoran summer.

Like the lightning streaks through the sky, and the brief flowing of the rivers, the sweet perfume of The Queen floats to our noses. There may be fewer blooms this year, but each beautiful bud is treasured and reminds us to savor the moment.

– Tracey Till
Propagation & Greenhouse Associate