Hirt's® Orchid Cactus - Epiphyllum Cereus - Easy to Grow - 4" Pot

MSRP: $24.99
(You save $5.00 )
(0) Write a Review
Currently Available:

Gift wrapping Options available

Product Description

What we commonly call "epiphyllums" today are actually hybrids of epiphytic cacti species native to the jungles of Central and South America, as well as Mexico. The word epiphyllum in Greek means "upon the leaf" and the flowers appear to bloom directly on the leaves. Jungle cacti, however, have no leaves; their leaf-like parts are actually thickened stems or branches. These stems are typically flat but often grow in a triangular shape. Unlike most desert cacti, epiphyllums are not covered with spines. They do, however, have hair bristles or tiny spines in the areolas, some more so than others. In their native habitat, the epiphytic species often grow in the forks of trees or in rock crevices where their small, fibrous roots take hold in decaying vegetative matter. Some epiphytic species are rooted in the ground and use aerial roots to climb up tree trunks. The plants can draw moisture from the humid air and tropical rains. Because their root systems are relatively small, continually water-soaked soil will suffocate the roots. The jungles' frequent rains are ideal for keeping plant roots moist but not saturated. High in the trees, the plants receive much-needed air circulation from shifting tree branches which also let in the dappled sunlight they need to produce blooms. It was in these tropical jungles of the New World that European explorers discovered epiphytic cacti. Night-blooming species are mostly white or white with pale yellow overcasts or traces of yellow in back petals. There are, however, a few species that have color in their flowers, notably the orange-red blooms of Nopalxochia ackermanii, the red Heliocereus aurantiacus, the scarlet Heliocereus cinnabarinus and the purplish-red Heliocereus speciosus. Hybridizing has produced today's day-blooming epis in a variety of colors, sizes and shapes. Blossom size and style range from one inch to 12 or more inches across, single-petaled, multi-petaled, pointed or rounded petals, and every combination thereof. Colors, too, cover a spectrum from pure white to creams and green tinges, pinks and roses in all hues, reds, oranges, deep purples, violets and lavenders, pale yellows to deep gold -- every combination and shading imaginable. Much time and effort has gone into obtaining some colors. A yellow blossom was not bred until the late 1950s when Southern California hybridizers Paul Fort and Garland O'Barr produced the epiphyllum "Reward", a nine-inch flower with chrome yellow back petals and pale yellow to white inner petals. It was one of three yellow-flowering plants produced from a cross of two white hybrids, one of which had a slight golden cast. The first cutting from "Reward" sold for $400. Today there are a number of beautiful yellow epis; however, a blue one still eludes hybridizers.
  • Vibrant red blooms
  • Easy to grow house plant
  • Prefers very bright, indirect light or morning sun
  • Great in a hanging basket
  • Immediate shipping 4" Pot