I collected a cutting of this native Epiphyllum growing in a tree on the eastbank of the Essequibo river in Hubu, a small village in Guyana. Actually, more correctly, as I was admiring the huge plant,
our Guyanian friend climbed that tree in about 5 seconds flat and took a piece off for me, before I had finished my sentence. So, there was no point in letting it go to waste...
this is the plant grown from that cutting in our sunroom. Over the years it attained a decent size with long sprawling shoots. It started flowering in spring 1999, produced several flowers and beautiful red seed pods outside in summer. Unfortunately I was never able to observe any of them open, until finally......
|February 5. 2000 10 pm
...I managed to catch one flower totally open! I had observed the growth of a new bud over a time period of several days. When it finally bloomed, it was really the pretty scent in that corner of the room, which prompted me to look for the open flower. Knowing that the flowers stay open only a few hours, I immediately took some snapshots - see below.
The diameter of the flower measures 2 inches, the tube is about 10 inches long.
|click on left photo for enlarged version|
|ripe seed pod from a previous flowering
June/July 2004 - I took one of those ripe seed pods as it was about to split, and spread its contents evenly over a dish with cactus soil. It took about a week for seemingly all of the seeds to germinate. Ca. four weeks later they started to show a very nice true leaf. At this point I moved all of the little plants to a larger flat to give them more room. If this works out, I will have DOZENS of this plant to distribute next year.
| Epiphyllum phyllanthus var. (phyllanthus? /still undetermined ?)
|Walther Haage, one of the early German Epiphyllum hybridizers, lists a species from Latin America, which was already identified by Linne in 1753 as Cactus phyllanthus. According to Haage, the plant was probably cultivated for several hundred years from Panama to Paraguay.
(Walther Haage - Das praktische Kakteenbuch)
Also the description of Epiphyllum phyllanthus var. phyllanthus on Jim Hunters' "Epiuniverse" seems to fit.
This time the plant flowered outside in our backyard, were it is growing over the summer. This picture was taken about 8 am.
|E.phyllanthus var. hookeri or
E.phyllanthus var. guatemalense
Photo taken by Jim Hunter
|And here are the cute babies in August 2004 with more seed pods ripening.....|