Finally, most of the flowers are on the move. It appears that something in the storm event on the July 11 woke her up. As I said before, I don’t believe it is the rain itself that is the trigger. I had four stalls in my greenhouse that didn’t get any rain, but did experience the other storm factors and are on the move with the rest. Two of the first buds to reach stall are still stalled along with several others. There is a group in the 60-80 mm range, which with a little luck will all go on the same night. The Queen continues to be obstinate with a group of flowers still in the 30-50 mm range. Last week I told you that she made a new bud, and this week that bud is 60 mm and should bloom with the others. Pretty impressive to go from start to bloom in only two weeks.
The Queen’s court is also becoming active. The P. fosterianus buds are on the move, the P. oaxacensis has five new buds that appear to be going straight to bloom, and the P. striatus has three developing buds. In my experience the P. striatus typically blooms in August, but I will be sure get pictures when they do and send them along. Maybe some will even go on Bloom Night.
Bloom Night is coming, so stay tuned for the call of the Queen. Many years of data and observation suggest that 60 mm blooms are five to six days out and 80 mm could be four to five days out. My best guess is that Bloom Night might occur somewhere between this Sunday, July 16 and next Wednesday, July 19. This is only a guess, as she has been known to do whatever she wants. My friend has two buds that have been at 80 mm for over a week now.
The number of flowers won’t be as large as in previous years, but will still be beautiful and fun. Besides, Bloom Night is the only time I get to see so many of you and the Queen and I will miss you if you can’t make it. See you soon.
Until Next Time – Lee Mason, Director of General Services, Tohono Chul