Photos & More

The Queen of the Night cactus blooms only one night each year, enveloping the desert with its exotic, inviting perfume.

On that magical night, this innocuous cactus, native to the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts, unfolds its buds to reveal dramatic, white, fragrant flowers. Queen of the Night is known in the botanical world as peniocereus greggii, a species of night-blooming cacti and one of the desert’s most famous yet least encountered cacti. It is virtually invisible most of the year, with its thin, inconspicuous branches that are most frequently hidden amongst other cacti or shrubbery. However, during the summer, a trumpet-shaped blossom appears for only one night and its warm, soft floral scent delicately perfumes the desert night from as far as a quarter-mile away!

Here are various photographs of the Queen of the Night — a stick-like cactus 364 days a year until the one night it blooms its very elusive and fragrant flowers.

Royalty in disguise...

When the reach this golf ball size, they are ready to bloom!

Ready to bloom!

Early bloom stage.

Arizona Queen of the Night with multiple buds.

Queen of the Night multiple cactus flowers.

Fragrant Queen of the Night cactus bloom duo.

Fully fragrant trio of Queen of the Night flowers in bloom.

Queen of the Night at the end of bloom cycle.

Watch our “Bloom Night”video from Tohono Chul Park in Tucson!

Once in a Bloom Fragrances attended and filmed highlights from a past “Bloom Night” at Tohono Chul Park in Tucson, AZ, home of over 340 “Queens”. “Mother Nature” picks the date as they say, but if you join their mailing list, they will email you with 24 hours notice of the Queen of the Nights’ anticipated bloom. This very special night attracts over a thousand people to the park from dusk to midnight and features special tours, refreshments, drawings and a live telling of the Tohono O’odham Indian tribe legend.

Arizona State Facts

The Queen of the Night is native to the Sonoran Desert which covers approximately 100,000 square miles throughout the southwest and includes most of the southern half of Arizona. Here are some interesting facts about the beautiful state where the Desert Queen® fragrance was created

Statehood – Admitted to the union on Feb 14th, 1912 as the 48th state

Size – 6th largest state; 114,000 square miles; about 340 miles wide and 400 miles in length

Population – As of 2015, almost 7 million. The capital city of Phoenix is the 5th largest in the nation with about 1.6 million residents

Highest elevation – Humphrey’s Peak, 12, 643 feet, located in the San Francisco mountains north of Flagstaff

Grand Canyon – 277 miles long, 600 feet to 18 miles wide and over a mile deep

State Tree – The palo verde tree, Spanish for “green stick”, referring to the greenish bark and thin foliage

State Flower – The saguaro cactus bloom- a large white flower which grows on the ends of the majestic saguaro, the largest cactus in the U.S. It can grow to a height of 50 feet and live up to 200 years.

State Gemstone – Turquoise, varying in color from sky blue to shades of green. The stone has been used for centuries in Native American jewelry

State Bird – The cactus wren, a woody-brown colored bird with a spotted breast. It builds its well-protected nest in the thickest and thorniest sections of cacti.

Historical Dates & Facts

1200 AD – Hopi Village of Oraibi is founded

1539 – Father Marcos de Niza explores Arizona while seeking “cities of gold”

1540 – Spanish conquistador Lopez de Cardenas discovers the Grand Canyon

1700 – San Xavier del Bac mission (White Dove of the Desert) is founded

1776 – The Presidio (a fort) is built at Tucson

1821 – Mexico gains military control of Arizona at the same time Traders and Trappers come into the area

1848 – Most of Arizona becomes part of the U.S. at the end of the Mexican War

1853 – The rest of Arizona becomes part of the U.S. by the Gadsden Purchase

1854 – Copper is discovered in Arizona

1857 – First stagecoach in Arizona

1858 – Gold is discovered on the Gila River

1863 – Teritory of Arizona is created by Congress, with Prescott as capital

1869 – Major John Wesley Powell becomes the first American to explore the Grand Canyon by boat

1881 – Railroad crosses the state. Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, October 26

1886 – Great Apache Chief Geronimo surrenders. Marks end of the Indian Wars

1889 – Phoenix becomes the capital of the Arizona territory

1900 – Population grows to 122, 931 residents

1912 – Arizona becomes the 48th state on February 14th

1919 – Grand Canyon National Park is founded

1930 – Pluto is discovered by Clyde Tombaugh at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff

1936 – The Hoover Dam is completed

1948 – Native Americans obtain the right to vote

1964 – Barry M Goldwater, Senator from Arizona, runs for president…but loses

1968 – London Bridge is moved to Lake Havasu City, Arizona

1975 – Raul H.Castro becomes the first Mexican American Governor of Arizona

1981 – Arizona Justice Sandra Day O’Connor becomes the first woman on the U.S. Supreme Court

1997 – Secretary of State Jane Hull becomes Governor September 5

2001 – The Arizona Diamondbacks win the World Series, beating the NY Yankees in Game 7 in Phoenix

2003 – Lori Ann Piestewa is the first woman to die in the Iraq invasion. She is also the first known Native American (a member of the Hopi tribe) to die in combat in the U.S. military. Then Governor Janet Napolitano renames Phoenix’s Squaw Peak, Piestewa Peak. It is the 2nd highest peak in the Phoenix Mountains, after Camelback Mountain.