This year has gifted us a whole new kind of excitement and level of beauty here in Costa Rica! We have watched a cactus grow on our dead tree in the front of the house (which we have turned into a botanical sculpture of sorts) for several years now. These cactus are fairly common in Costa Rica and look like nothing more than spiny snakes in a tree – but not scary. They always look like the fell from somewhere higher and just landed on the giant tree branches or crooks in trees. We have another in our giant Guanacaste tree in the driveway which is shown in the back of the image below . In other words, we always thought they were nothing particularly special , just another element to our sculpture (which nature added by the way). This past year in September of 2011 we saw these bloom magnificent flowers for the first time. They bloom only once the sun goes down and then close up by early morning and that’s it!! That’s right – they bloom for 1 night only!!
Then we saw them again in May 2012, with even more flowers – and their blooms were staggered, so they did not all explode together in just one night. Now in July they are still blooming – even more profusely, and subsequently creating more delicious and gorgeous magenta fruit afterwards! We even had one on the cactus that lives on a cut branch just outside our bedroom. The official name of this is cactus is Hylocereus Costaricensis. It is an epiphytic plant – which means it is not feeding off the tree it inhabits or damaging it , it’s just renting space – for free. All of it’s nutrients and food come from the air and what passes by – and from who stops by as well 😉 . The image below shows a couple of bees getting drunk off and rolling around in the pollen inside this gorgeous specimen. If you are at the house when they look as if they are ready to bloom, see if you can get up very early to see them – it is well worth it! Enjoy!