A rare Amazonian cactus called the moonflower has bloomed for what botanists believe is the first time in the UK. Experts at Cambridge University’s Botanic Garden kept a night watch throughout the week so that they did not miss the flowering of Selenicereus wittii – an event which usually begins at sunset and is over by sunrise. The moonflower actually bloomed earlier on Saturday afternoon at around 3pm, and the garden said it was 28cm (11 inches) long. The coveted flower produces a sweet-smelling scent that turns “rancid” after just two hours, as the plant begins to die. The plant is only found on the high waterline of the floodplain rainforests of the Amazon basin. The Moonflower actually bloomed earlier on Saturday afternoon at around 3pm, and the garden said it was 28cm long. Photograph: Cambridge University Botanic Garden/PA A post on the garden’s Instagram feed said: “Oh it’s been worth the wait, what a beauty! Our moonflower has opened & the smell is divine – similar to gardenia & jasmine atm & it’ll change (we think) into rotten veg smelling later.” The plant spirals around tree trunks, and the coveted flower is about 3.6 metres in the air. […]

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