Cambridge moonflower: Wait over for ‘UK’s first’ bloom

 Cambridge moonflower: Wait over for ‘UK’s first’ bloom

image copyrightCambridge University Botanic Garden

image captionThe rare type of Amazonian moonflower is in full bloom after widespread anticipation

A rare Amazonian cactus that has attracted interest from around the world has started to bloom.

The team at Cambridge University Botanic Garden believe their moonflower Selenicereus wittii is the first to flower in the UK.

Thousands of people have viewed a webcam which has been trained on the plant for about 11 days.

It was thought the plant would blossom at night, but a garden spokesperson said it appeared it was a “sun lover”.

image copyrightCUBG

image captionA webcam has been focused on the plant for 11 days during the wait for it to flower

The plant normally only flowers between sunset and sunrise, but the garden’s director Prof Beverley Glover said “these things are always done at their own pace”.

“I’m not as surprised as some might be, as plants have a habit of doing their own thing,” she said.

“It is a bit special… a real treat and a real testament to the hard work of our glasshouse supervisor Alex Summers.”

Anticipation for the cactus to flower was high because the blossom only lasts 12 hours – with this white flower measuring 11ins (28cm) long by 6ins (15cm) wide.

It has also meant a Facebook question-and-answer session due to be held later has had to be hastily rescheduled to 18:00 GMT.

Staff at the garden now hope it will bloom every year.

image copyrightCambridge University Botanic Garden

image captionThe moonflower started to bloom in the early afternoon – and not at sunset as expected

The plant was acquired six years ago from Bonn Botanic Garden in Germany and was attached to a water chestnut tree, where it climbed 12ft (3.5m) above the grou

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Redak staff

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