Epiphyllum

Epiphyllum

[ep-uh-fil-uhm]
For the genus Epiphyllum Pfeiff., see its synonym Schlumbergera.

Epiphyllum ("upon the leaf" in Greek) is a genus of 19 species of epiphytic plants in the cactus family (Cactaceae), native to Central America. Common names for these species include orchid cacti and leaf cacti, though the latter also refers to the genus Pereskia.

The stems are broad and flat, 1-5 cm broad, 3-5 mm thick, usually with lobed edges. The flowers are large, 8-16 cm diameter, white to red, with numerous petals.

The fruit is edible, very similar to the pitaya fruit from the closely related genus Hylocereus, though not so large, being only 3-4 cm long.

Epiphyllums are very popular house plants, with numerous hybrids and cultivars produced. In fact, the term epiphyllum is commonly used to refer to these hybrids.

The genus has 2 synonyms: Phyllocactus Link and Phyllocereus Miq..

Epiphyllum species are added to some versions of the hallucinogenic drink Ayahuasca.

Broad-leaved epiphyllum

The broad-leaved epiphyllum (Epiphyllum oxypetalum) is a particularly well-known species of epiphyllum. It bears large, strongly fragrant flowers, that bloom for a single night only.

In Chinese, there is a saying "昙花一现" (tanhua yi xian) which means "to bloom briefly", alluding to the short lifespan of the flower, which only lasts one night.

External links

References

Search another word or see Epiphyllumon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature