En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
1 rating

Wednesday - April 04, 2007

From: Mountain View, CA
Region: California
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Identification of night blooming Cereus
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


My Grandmother used to have a plant she called Nightly Series, that bloomed only at night. Can you help me find out where to buy one?


The plant that produces a spectacular blossom only in the evening which fades by morning is the Night Blooming Cereus (pretty close to Nightly Series). Unfortuntely, there is more than one plant with that apellation. Two of these possibilities are members of the Cactus family (Cactaceae).

Peniocereus Peniocereus greggii (nightblooming cereus) is native to southern Arizona, New Mexico and southwest Texas (see photo). It is listed as an endangered plant in New Mexico, and as salvage restricted (collect only with a permit) in Arizona. It is considered a vanishing plant throughout its range due to activities of collectors. Click here for more details.

Since you didn't mention cactus in your question, your Grandmother may have been growing a very "non-cactus" looking plant Epiphyllum oxypetalum. This plant is native to Central America and grows as an epiphyte in the jungle (see photo). It has many enthusiasts among plant hobbyists. The San Diego Epiphyllum Society's web page can give you more information about obtaining and caring for your own nightblooming cereus.



More Seed and Plant Sources Questions

Source for Bumelia lanuginosa in Kansas
August 18, 2007 - Do you know of a source of Bumelia lanuginosa? I would like to include it in a future landscape construction project on the Kansas State University campus.
view the full question and answer

Source for photo of Helianthus nuttallii
January 10, 2006 - I need a photo of Helianthus nuttallii. Can you help me?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification sources for Southern California
February 21, 2010 - I hike the trails here in Ramona a lot. I want to be able to identify the wildflowers as they bloom. They are beginning to bloom and I am afraid another year will come and go and I won't know the nam...
view the full question and answer

Making sod from native grass seeds from Pflugerville TX
April 28, 2012 - I am trying to install a native lawn. A story on KVUE suggested 2 lb Buffalo, 1.5 lb Blue Grama, and 6 oz of Curly Mesquite. I have some seeds purchased from seedsource.com about 2 years ago. I can...
view the full question and answer

Rain garden plants at the April Plant Sale
March 31, 2015 - In answering the question about "rain garden" plants on March 20, 2010, you offered a list of plants. Which of these will be offered at the spring sale coming up on April 10-12? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center