Unpretentious plants belonging to the “forest cacti” conquer with beautiful bright flowers that seem to open right on the leaves. The genus was first described in 1812 by Adrian Haworth, who even emphasized this amazing fact in the name: the Latin prefix epi – “on” and the word phylles – “leaf”, can literally be translated as “on a leaf”.
Later it turned out that these are such modified shoots. In indoor floriculture, a hybrid species of epiphyllum hybrid is used, obtained by crossing the comb epiphyllum (Epiphyllum crenatum) with some kind of large-flowered cereus (Cereus) .
Because of their large flowers of bright color, the epiphyllum is often called the orchid cactus. On sale, numerous varieties of this plant are most often found under the commercial name phyllocactus, its photos are presented below.
Photo of epiphyllum hybrid
Epiphyllum hybrid (Epiphyllum hybrida) is a bushy phyllocactus up to 1 m high with narrow whole leaf-like shoots and large flowers, which, depending on the original species, come in various shapes and sizes (from 5 to 35 cm in diameter).
Very beautiful varieties such as:
Epiphyllum “Dreamland” – pink-orange flowers with a pink throat;
Epiphyllum variety “Impello” – the color of the flowers gradually changes from pink to red and then purple;
Phyllocactus “King Midas” – golden yellow flowers;
Phyllocactus variety “Nicole” – flowers are light green;
Epiphyllum variety “Space Rocket” – flowers are very large, carmine with a pink border, and others.
Epiphyllum care at home
Forest cacti in the wild grow epiphytically – on tree trunks , stumps and snags. A small amount of leaf humus is enough for them to take root. Abundantly branching multiple shoots resemble drooping leaves, which provides a relatively large surface. After all, they do not need to retain moisture – it rains often, and the humidity of the air is constantly high, but there is not enough light under the forest canopy. The difference between winter and summer temperatures in these regions does not have sharp differences (about 10 ° C).
Similar conditions are required when caring for the epiphyllum and in the apartment: diffused lighting, regular moderate watering (more rare in winter), winter temperature is about + 1 2 ° C. For planting straight-growing varieties, ordinary containers are used. Top dressing is carried out during the flowering period, once every two weeks with fertilizers for cacti. Propagated by leaf cuttings, which are slightly dried before planting.