Recently, in what has become an annual ritual, a group of people gathered at Betsy Street’s house to witness the annual blooming of her Cereus plant.

[Hover here for plant into]

We asked Betsy about the backstory:

Let’s see, Laurie Smith brought her plant to the town hall as decoration for some event several years ago, might have been a summer forum.

You get a plant when someone gives you a leaf wrapped up in wet paper towel and tin foil and you bring it home and jam it into a pot. You water it and wait, a long time. Eventually it starts putting out some new leaves and long snaking tendrils. It was probably three or four years before I saw the first bud, totally unexpected.

This is the third year having a flower party. After three years’ experience, I now know what to look for that tells me today is the day it will bloom.

It’s pretty magical to watch it outside, although the scent is not as overwhelming as it is when you’re inside. It’s a very simple party, you just sit around and watch a flower bloom over a few hours. It starts about 8:30 and is fully open by midnight or 1:00 a.m., and then dead by morning.

Below – you can mouse over the image to see the arrows to travel through the slider (6 images) or it will advance itself roughly every 5 seconds. Photos courtesy of Sarah Wilson.