night-blooming cereus

noun
plural night-blooming cereus or night-blooming cereuses

Definition of night-blooming cereus

: any of several cacti with usually large, white, fragrant, night-blooming flowers: such as
a : a sprawling or climbing cactus (Selenicereus grandiflorus) found from Mexico to South America that has spiny, ribbed stems and pink to whitish spiny fruits
b : an erect or sprawling slender-stemmed, thorny cactus (Peniocereus greggii synonym Cereus greggii) that is native to the southwestern U.S. and adjacent parts of northern Mexico and has spiny red fruits
c : any of several cacti (genus Hylocereus) including one (Hylocereus undatus) cultivated especially for its usually pink- or red-skinned fruit — see dragon fruit
d : an epiphytic cactus (Epiphyllum oxypetalum) of Mexico and Central America that has flattened, leaflike stems with wavy edges and is often grown as a houseplant or garden plant

Note: The cacti known as "night-blooming cereus" are also known as Queens of the Night.

Examples of night-blooming cereus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Staff at Tohono Chul, a botanical garden in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, for instance, spend months monitoring their 300 mostly native night-blooming cereus plants. Joanna Klein, New York Times, "One Night a Year, This Cactus Flower May Surprise You," 15 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'night-blooming cereus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of night-blooming cereus

1799, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of night-blooming cereus was in 1799

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about night-blooming cereus

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