Cereus grandiflorus

Botanical Name: Cereus grandiflorus
Family:Cactaceae
Subfamily:Cactoideae
Tribe:Hylocereeae
Genus:Selenicereus
Species:S. grandiflorus
KingdomPlantae
Order:Caryophyllales

Synonyms:  Selenicereus grandiflorus

Common Names: Vanilla Cactus. Sweet-scented Cactus. Large-flowered Cactus

Other Common names:
Afrikaans: Koningin van die Nag
Chinese?Shé Bian Zhu ( Column of snake-like rope)
Danish: Nattens Dronning
Dutch: Koningin van de Nacht
English: Queen of the Night, Night-blooming Cereus, Large-flowering Cactus, Sweet-scented Cactus, Vanilla Cactus, Lunar Flower, Large Blooming Cereus, Large flowered torch thistle, Large-flowered Night Cactus
Estonian: Öökuninganna
Finnish: Yönkuningatar
French: reine de la nuit, princesse de la nuit, cierge à grande fleurs, vierge à grandes fleurs, cierge rampant à grandes fleurs, fleur d’amour
German: Königin der Nacht, Schlangencereus, Schlangenkaktus
Italian: cacto grandifloro, regina della notte
Japanese: Gekka Bijin (Beautiful woman under the moon)
Malayalam: Nisha Ghanthi(Nishagandhi)(Fragrance of the Night). This name is also used for Saussurea obvallata
Marathi: Brahma KamaLa. This name is also used for Saussurea obvallata
Portuguese: flor-de-baile, cardeiro trepador
Punjabi: Raat di sassi
Român?: Cactus din Antilele Olandeze
Sinhala: Kadupul
Spanish: Reina de las Flores, Reina Gigante, Cardon, Gigante, Organillo, Reina de la noche.
Swedish: nattens drottning
Tamil/Telugu  : Brahma Kamalam (Lord Bhrahma’s Flower). This name is also used for Saussurea obvallata
Kannada: Brahma Kamala. This name is also used for Saussurea obvallata
Arabic: Malikat Al lail
Vietnamese: Hoa qu?nh

Parts Used in medicines: The flowers, young and tender stems.

Habitat: Cereus grandiflorus is native to  Tropical America, Mexico, West Indies, and Naples
Description:
A fleshy, creeping, rooting shrub, stems cylindrical, with five or six not very prominent angles, branching armed with clusters of small spines, in radiated forms. Flowers, terminal and lateral from the clusters of spines, very large 8 to 12 inches in diameter, expanding in the evening and only lasting for about six hours, exhaling a delicious vanilla-like perfume. Petals are white, spreading, shorter than the sepals, which are linear, lanceolate, outside brown, inside yellow. Fruit ovate, covered with scaly tubercles, fleshy and of a lovely orange-red colour, seeds very small and acid. The flower only lasts in bloom about six hours and does not revive- when withered, the ovary enlarges, becomes pulpy and forms an acid juicy fruit, something like a gooseberry. The plant was brought to the notice of the medical profession by Dr. Scheile but it aroused little interest till a homoeopathic doctor of Naples, R. Rubini, used it as a specific in heart disease. The flowers and young stems should be collected in July and a tincture made from them whilst fresh. The plant contains a milky acrid juice….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
An easily cultivated, fast growing epiphyte or lithophytic plant. Needs a compost containing plenty of humus and sufficient moisture in summer. Should not be kept under 5°C (41°F) in winter. Perform best if grown in full sun. Extra light in the early spring will stimulate budding. Flowers in late spring or early summer, only blooms one night a year or several years and withers within hours.

Constituents:  No special analysis seems yet to have been made; the chief constituents are resins, the presence of the alleged alkaloid cactine not having been confirmed.

Medicinal  Uses:
Diuretic Sedative, Cardiac. Cereus has been used as a cardiac stimulant and as a partial substitute for digitalis. In large doses it produces gastric irritation, slight delirium, hallucinations and general mental confusion. It is said to greatly increase the renal secretion. It does not appear to weaken the nervous system. It has a decided action on the heart and frequently gives prompt relief in functional or organic disease. It has been found of some service in haemoptysis, dropsy and incipient apoplexy.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selenicereus_grandiflorus
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/cernig48.html

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