Bloom Watch #4

June 21, 2022

Could It Be This Weekend?

Late Monday morning Gardens Supervisor, Chris Kibler along with Gardeners, Shauna, Aaron, and myself went for a drive in the carts to take a look at what’s happening out on the Desert View Trail. The rain from the previous Friday had left a visible path that the water took as it sifted through the pebbles and sand, forming little rivulets. The haze was gone from the blue sky.

Shauna has been giving the Queen supplemental water and has found a total of 24 flower buds. Chris has been taking their measurements every day. A handful are ahead of the rest measuring about 70 millimeters long, while most are somewhere between 50-60 millimeters (about as long as my pinky). They’ve been changing – the reddish tepals, petal-like sepals, have become more distinct. When buds reach 60 millimeters they can be as little as one week away from blooming! We’ll keep you posted!

Tohono Chul has our very own plant nursery. Jordan Collins, Propagation Greenhouse Supervisor, is leading the volunteers in growing Peniocereus greggii from seeds of fruit harvested last fall right here on the grounds in addition to some Peniocereus marianus from the seed collection. According to some sources, seeds can take up to 180 days to germinate. It’s exciting to have had some good luck with the seedlings! Nature can deal us so many challenges growing in the desert, it’s important to savor success.

— Tracey Till, Retail Greenhouse & Propagation Associate, Tohono Chul