Costa Rica: Rincon de la Vieja National Park – Blooming Selenicereus Cactus

Selenicereus Costaricensis is an endemic Costa Rican tropical cactus that is also known as Moonlight Cactus as it blooms only at night with massive white flowers. When I was little and collected cacti (I had a collection of around 120 species), it was always a dream to see the blooming Selenicereus in the wild. The plant has long green stems that climb trees and branches and here in the Rincon de la Vieja National Park, the cacti like the fumaroles and steamvent areas, flourishing in the moist steam. The flowers are massive, over 1 foot/30cm long and hiking early in the morning you can still find some almost open. Shockingly and interestingly, the fruits of Selenicereus are nothing else but the dragonfuit, commonly cultivated in the Southeast Asia. Coincidentally, dragonfruit is the only fruit that I am severely allergic to – karma, ain’t it?