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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Discovering Epiphyllums - Blooming Tropical Cactus

Commonly known as epiphyllums, these flat-stemmed cactus with large vibrant blooms are hybridized from ancestors that live in the nooks and crannies of trees in the forests of Central and South America.

Take a minute to discover the diversity of epiphyllum blooms.


Epiphyllums are epiphytic; like many orchid species they grow on other larger plants, but cause no harm to their host. In southern California epiphyllums can be very happy on a patio or terrace. They thrive on little soil, mottled shade, minimal water, and good air flow.

Ours is a micro-habitat. Native bees, like the Valley carpenter bee, pollinate them and a juvenile alligator lizard lives beneath the pot.

The Epiphyllum Society of America keeps records on the over 700 named hybrid varieties. Like orchids, epiphyllums have an amazing diversity. These blooms were on display at the Southern California Spring Flower Show. The Epiphyllum Society hosts their annual show May 16-17, 2015 at the Los Angeles Arboretum.

Visit the Earth Minute each week and discover something new in the natural world.

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