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Rare moonflower cactus blooms for the first time in the U.K.

Moonflower cactus typically blooms at least once a year for one night only
Posted at 10:38 AM, Feb 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-21 10:38:28-05

A rare moonflower cactus, which bloomed at Cambridge University's botanic garden for what is believed to be the first time in the U.K., closed for good this morning.

The glasshouse team at the garden monitored the Selenicereus wittii cactus for days as they did not want to miss the opening up of its flower.

The unfurling of the petals normally begins at sunset and is over by sunrise.

But the garden's moonflower was an early starter and actually began blossoming Saturday afternoon. By this morning the petals had curled in on themselves.

The flower, which measures about eleven inches, gave off a sweet-smelling fragrance as it bloomed, but the scent normally turns rancid when moonflowers close up.

The cactus lives on tree trunks and is normally found in the Amazon.