1800s illustration

Night-Blooming Cerus, or Queen of the Night - Selenicereus grandiflorus

There are several cacti called the “night-blooming cerus”, but to Carl von Linne (Linnaeus), this was the true Queen of the Night.

She blooms one night a year, for only a few hours, and withers before dawn. In her natural habitat throughout the Caribbean and Central America, this plant is pollinated by fruit bats and moths, drawn to its strong vanilla scent.

New Illustration of the Sexual System of Carolus Von Linnaeus; inc. Temple of Flora, or Garden of Nature. Robert John Thornton, 1807.

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Natural History of Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, Fish, Marine Life, Insects ; By Jonstonus, Joannes, 1603-1675 Bayer, Frederick M., Burndy Library, Godman, Frederick Du Cane, 1834-1919 Jonstonus, Joannes, 1603-1675
Via Flickr:
Publication info Francofurti ad Moenum: Impensis haeredum Type: Meriani, MDCL-MDCLIII [1650-1653] 

BHL Collections: Smithsonian Libraries