Epiphytic Orchid Cactus,
Single Red #2
This photo shows the June blooms of a hybrid Epiphyllum ackermannii orchid cactus. The flat broad leaves lend it a secondary common name "Strap Cactus."
These sweeping leaves being only about a foot in height, less than half the size of our biggest orchid cactus. The leaves could be straightened in two directions for a possible two foot spread.
Though the leaves never get as big as our biggest E. x ackermannii, the blooms are just as big, if not bigger. The photo shows the flower lifted up by the pretty hand of Granny Artemis, which will give you an idea of the size.
E, ackermannii was introduced to English gardening in 1829 by James Tate, a Chelsea nurseryman. Within two decades, many amateur breeders were obtaining other species for hybridization programs, so that soon a "pure" A. ackermannii was pretty much unheard of, & its hybrids had endless permutations.
Today there are hundreds of named cultivars. But because most people get them as starts from friends who got starts from friends, the majority of specimens in peoples' homes are of unknown origin, & the various cultivars are not so distincct that it is ever possible to identify them in retrospect.
Sharing cuttings comes naturally to growing these epiphytes, because old leaves stop blooming & are best cut out of the parent plant, these cuttings being used to generate new plants. They are exceedingly easy to root from cuttings, & in two years will have numerous new leaves ready to start blooming.
Third Orchid Cactus
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