Bloom Watch #5 – Keeping Us Captivated

June 28, 2017

I just got back from talking with the Queen and she is displaying her usual attitude. She has let me know that Bloom Night will happen when she is darn, good and ready. One flower will bloom tonight and another tomorrow, with the rest of the holding buds still in stall status.

I believe she is showing some stress from this extensive heat, because even with her desert fortitude, she has decided to cut her losses and let four buds go. Even with supplemental watering it is getting the best of her. I was hoping that the threat of storms earlier this week would help make up her mind, however it didn’t happen. I have long thought the stall break was attached to a storm event, but have not been able to pin down exactly what in the storm itself triggers the move. I ordered some new test equipment to more closely monitor all the weather conditions as potential trigger factors. As I have talked about before, it has to be a combination of weather-related factors. It is unlikely that the water from the storm is the trigger or ours would have already bloomed, as we soak the plants twice a week this time of year. So when the new test equipment comes, we will start a new round of data collection.

As for the rest of the Queens court, two flowers will go tomorrow on the P. tepalcatepecanus and several more appear to be on the move. The P. oaxacensis has one very close and another on the move. I’m not sure of the size of the bloom as this will be my first time seeing it. The P. fosterianus is also a mystery. The bud bases appear to be getting larger, but the flower portion is still small. It might be the way she does it, I’m not sure, but will know after this year. I will get pictures and send them along next week.

Right now it appears that Bloom Night will slip into July, but keep watching as sometimes she likes to show me she is still in charge.

Until Next Time – Lee Mason, Director of General Services, Tohono Chul