Salmon Epiphyllum

April 2008

A thing of beauty is a joy forever.
Unless that thing is the flower of an epiphyllum cactus. In which case, it's a beauty that gives meaning to ephemeral; you get a day, or two, of joy that'll have to last until next year.

Buds appear two months earlier. The buds swell, elongate, differentiate into petal and base. Over the course of an afternoon, the blossoms gradually open until, that night, the bud fully opens. The next morning it's fully resplendently in bloom. The next day, it retains its posture but begins to wilt. By the end of the second day, the limp blossoms collapse under the force of gravity. The day after and thereafter the faded blossom wilts, then in the passing days, dries and remains a joyous memory forever. Hence, these photos, and, from 2006--before the hard freeze severely damaged the plants (especially hard hit was the fluorescent epi)--this QuickTime movie.