Finally after almost two years, we got our first Quynh Hoa flowers! Probably you’ve never heard about it before but that would not be too surprising: it is a Vietnamese plant. The most exciting thing about this plant are the flowers: they only start blooming at night and by the next morning they are gone. One of the popular names of the plant is indeed “Queen of the night”. Another interesting “feature” of the flower is that its stalks grows off one of the leaves of plant.
We received a little branch from Pierre and Hoang Mai, his wife, just before they left Cambridge to move back to Paris in winter 2005. We planted it in a nice pot and did not see much going on for the rest of the winter: it was just staying there without showing much signs of life. Then spring came and it suddenly started growing at an amazing rate: about 1cm in 24 hours! It was really impressive and we actually have to move it to a larger pot because we were afraid the other one was not large enough to cope with the growth rate.

It became very large in little time, but no sign of flowers: all the new shoots were always becoming new leaves and, eventually, new branches. The following winter again slipped by without much activity and when the spring came we moved to a new house which kept us quite busy for a few months so we did not pay much attention to what the plant was doing. Actually we probably neglected it a little bit because by June the leaves had yellowish hue and looked a little bit floppy but after a more intensive watering (with a little bit of iron sulfate) its conditions improved a lot.
Finally, around mid July we noticed that there were several shoots that looked a little bit un-familiar… finally it was growing flower and not leaf shoots! We became quite excited when we realised that there were at least five flower shoots growing ! The first flower started blooming on the night of the 24th of July. It took it a few hours to open but since the beginning it filled the air with a lingering delicate scent. It was really impressing to see the flower literary “explode” on slow-motion.
The last of six flowers bloomed last friday and I guess that’s going to be it for this year. I’ve posted a little sequence of photographs of our first Quynh Hoa flower blooming. The last picture was taken on the morning when the flower was hanging closed and completely “exhausted” from one of the leaves. You can see more photographs on my wife’s homepage.

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All the photographs have been shoot with a Nikon D80 using a 18-135mm lens and with no tripod (Copyright 2007 Marco Riello).

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