A post by Plantchaser inspired me to post this photos.
Our neighbor-cousin has some of its ornamental plants literally behind our kitchen window. I have long been waiting for this plant to bloom, which the owner said happens at night. I was very glad one weekend when i saw a lot of ready to open flowers. I even did not leave on a Sunday night to wake up at maybe midnight to take its photos. We even left the window open so the scent will reach us, and maybe serve as our alarm! Unfortunately, that Monday morning when i left for work, it still had not opened, the wish to take the photos foregone. The following day, Tuesday, my sister called to say that all the blooms opened Monday night. Can you imagine my chagrin, if only i believed my cousin that it will open Monday night, then i already have the bloom photos. I am annoyed and fully disappointed. It will still be a long wait, it will bloom again next year.
It is called by many common names depending on which country it is grown. Night Queen is just one of them. The Chinese "chengyu" (tan hua yi xian) uses this flower (tan-hua) to describe someone who has an impressive but very brief moment of glory, as a "flash in a pan", since this flower takes a year to bloom and only blooms over a single night (Wikipedia). So when a person is described as that, then he just happened to have a sudden unexpected achievement or he is just considered lucky. Maybe this flowers rarity in blooming makes it very special. Next year i will not pass the opportunity.
It is an epiphyte cactus, but this one is planted on the ground. The flowers arise from the notch on the leaves. Leaf branches arise on some notch without flowers.
Also linked to GBBD of May Dreams Gardens