This gorgeous flower is the Night Blooming Cereus or Cyrus, also named Queen of the Night. My Mom has been caretaker to a couple of plants for years now.
This plant sits inconspicuously for most of the year until that one midsummer's night when a flower will open and release it's sweet-smelling scent into the darkness. The flower does not last long, for by morning's light it closes.
Here the flower is just partially open. You can see on the leaf above and to the right of the flower, a tiny red bud which is the beginning of a new flower.
We carefully brought the Night Blooming Cereus inside to hang in the dining room. We have not seen a flower open for several years. So, we celebrated with sundaes! This rare event definitely called for ice cream and hot fudge.
You can see another flower tightly closed, ready to bloom. (It bloomed a few nights later close to midnight.) The open flowers are up to 4 inches wide and as much as 8 inches long!
Until next summer, Night Blooming Cyrus!