The Cinderella Tale of the Night-Blooming Cereus

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With those long summery days in Hawaii just a fading memory, you’d be surprised to know that one particular element is still going h3. The magical night-blooming cereus found throughout the Hawaiian Islands remind us of those carefree summer moments spent mostly in swimwear and flip flops.

The Honolulu Queen, as it’s referred to, has made her grand entrance at the beginning of summer but is sadly nearing the end of another reign. Every night, she gets dolled up, a cream-colored cup that blooms into the darkness. Her elegance shines throughout, and her sweet aroma is but a midsummer’s night dream. She is in search of her king, the accompanying pink dragon fruit that grows from her regal attire.

But the glory of her nightly appearances is short-lived. Like the dreaded stroke of midnight in the tale of Cinderella, the queen gets only but one night to bathe in the moonlight with her king before quickly wilting with the rising sun. Dubbed with a special Hawaiian name, panani o ka punahou, the giant flowers crown the lava rock wall outside of Punahou School. She also lights up the popular drive to Round Top lookout. All hail the queen in the Makiki-Tantalus area. All hail the Queen of the Night.

Sometimes a tree-like succulent, other times, a thin-stemmed climber, the night-blooming cereus has a fairytale like no other plant. Look to the depths of the darkness throughout the islands in search of Hawaii’s reigning queen, the night-blooming cereus.

Photo By: Noa Myers


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