Thousands of viewers for rare cactus that flourishes in Cambridge

In Cambridge Universitys botanical garden, the flower of a rare cactus has blossomed live in front of the camera. According to researchers, who watched the flower closely at night last week, it is the first time that the Selenicereus wittii – in English called the moon flower – blossom in the UK.

Through a live stream, which had been in the air for 11 days, thousands of people watched the moment when the flower opened. Since the live broadcast has been going on, 120,000 people have already clicked on the footage.

Here is an accelerated recording of the flowering of the cactus:

The one-off flowering, which normally starts around sunset and is already over at sunrise, began remarkably enough around 15.00 noon. A spokesman for the botanical garden tells the BBC that it looks like theyre dealing with a sun lover.

These things always happen at their own pace, says Professor Beverley Glover, the director of the garden. Im not as surprised as some will be. Plants often do their own thing.

The flower of the Selenicereus wittii, which occurs in a part of the Amazon region, initially spreads a sweet smell. After two hours, the flower begins to wither, and the sweet air gives way to a rancid smell.

Our moonflower is open and it smells divine, just like gardenia and jasmine. We think that will later turn into rotting vegetables, write garden employees on social media.