Rare moonflower blooms for 'first time' in UK

Experts at the University's Botanic Garden live streamed the flowering of the moonflower.

A rare Amazonian cactus called the 'moonflower' bloomed in what botanists believe is a 'first for the United Kingdom'. The team at Cambridge University Botanic Garden believe their moonflower - Selenicereus wittii - is the first to flower in the UK.

Experts at the university's Botanic Garden live streamed the flowering of the moonflower, which hardly lasted for 12 hours from sunset to sunrise. Thousands of people have viewed a webcam which has been trained on the plant for about 11 days. The garden's director Prof Beverley Glover said "these things are always done at their own pace".

"I'm not as surprised as some might be, as plants have a habit of doing their own thing," she said, as quoted by BBC."It is a bit special... a real treat and a real testament to the hard work of our glasshouse supervisor Alex Summers."

The plant was acquired six years ago from Bonn Botanic Garden in Germany and was attached to a water chestnut tree, where they say that it climbed 12ft (3.5m) above the ground in a glasshouse before putting out its first bud.

A spokeswoman for the garden said the webcam trained on the plant had been "watched from all over the world" and has received over 120,000 views.

India Scanner News Network

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