Bloom Watch #9

July 22, 2023

Bloom Night is Coming…

Movement! As Chris suspected, the Queen’s buds are growing after the rain we had on July 17. 

The Queen’s are growing 20 mm a day now, which puts us a few days away from Bloom Night! The largest of the floral branches has reached 120mm, with the smaller ones close behind at 90-100 mm. We are watching closely, but as we know, the Queen is in charge. We won’t know exactly when the Queen decides to bloom until the day of, but we suspect that it’s very soon.

Peniocereus greggii growth over the last several weeks.

Monsoon time is here! According to a dedicated volunteer, the Penstemon Garden’s rain gauge had almost 2 inches of rain! Rain events bring more than just water- there is a change in temperature, humidity, and soil environment.

Sin Agua Garden

Soil biocrust becomes more visible as the algae and cyanobacteria grow. The desert plants respond, such as the typically leafless cholla putting out tiny true leaves next to their spines. Perhaps some of the Queen’s cactus seeds that were dispersed last fall by animals will wake up, carried to just the right spot under the shade of a mesquite, or a nook amongst the creosote, they will start to sprout. It’s a magical time to be in the desert.

Watch for our next post, as Bloom Night is imminent now!

By Tracey Till, Propagation Associate

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