Best Pilgrimage

Visiting Queen Weltin’s annual superbloom

Even a pandemic couldn’t diminish Orlando night-blooming cereus fans’ anticipation to witness the alien beauty of Queen Weltin, a huge tree wrapped in masses and masses of Selenicereus grandiflorus vines near the corner of Hardy and Weltin in Mills 50. The Queen blooms fully only one night a year, a magnificent explosion of dazzling, magical floral splendor. There’s nothing like it. And when it bloomed this June, a steady procession of devotees came, undeterred, reverent, socially distanced and respectful. Taking a moment of solace in knowing that beauty somehow endures. (If you miss out on the Weltin and Hardy bloom, spectacular cereus specimens can also be found in Mead Botanical Garden and Leu Gardens.)

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