This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(on a leaf; refers to the leaf-like branches on which the flower grows). Cactaceae. Spineless upright branched flat-stemmed cacti with very large and showy flowers, some of them popular as house-plants.
Branches flat, 2-edged, crenate or serrate on the margins, spineless: flowers usually large, mostly nocturnal; petals white, red, or yellow; stamens elongated, numerous: fruit oblong in outline, bearing a few bracts, red, juicy; seeds numerous, black. In the Cyclopedia of American Horticulture, the name Phyllocactus was used for this genus, but this is a much later name and hence it is given up. The epiphyllums of the first Cyclopedia will be found under Zygocactus. for cultivation, see Succulents.
Several hundred hybrids are in the trade, the most common ones being with E. crenatum, E. Ackermannii and E. phyllanthoides. Fig. 1401. Crosses are often made with the various Cereus allies, such as Heliocereus speciosus, and with some species of Echinopsis.
Fig. 1401. One of the many hybrid Epiphyllums.
A. Tube off. always elongated, usually much longer than the limb; petals white or yellowish: mostly night-bloomers.
B. Style white. C. Branches thin, usually spreading in some plane: petals pure white. oxypetalum, Haw. (Phyllocactus grandis, Lem.). Very large, sometimes 20 ft. long, with numerous short side branches, and these in the same plane with the main stem, thin and leaf - like: flower large (nearly a foot long), white, night-blooming (sometimes described as day-blooming). Originally from Mex., but said to be found in Honduras and Guatemala; also reported from Cuba, but surely not native there. G.W. 10:560 (as Phyllocactus latifrons). - One of the commonest and best species in cultivation
cc. Branches thick, not spreading in the same plane: petals cream-colored or yellow.
D. Flowers large: stems with shallow crenations. crenatum, Don (Phyllocactus crenatus, Lem.). stems about 3 ft. long, erect, thick, strongly crenate, somewhat glaucous: midrib very thick: flower large, 6-10 in. long, said to be a day-bloomer; petals white or cream-colored in life, drying yellow; tube 4-5 in. long; style said to be white; very fragrant. Guatemala and S. Mex., and said to come from Honduras.
dd. Flowers small for the genus: stems with deeply cut margins.
Don (Phyllocactus anguliger, Lem.).
About 3 ft. high, much branched below: branches narrow, thick, with deeply cut margins: flowers 5-8 in. long, with a slender tube; petals yellow.
bb. Style red. c. stems stiff, erect. strictum, Brit. & Rose (Phyllocactus strictus, Lem.). Erect, branching, reaching a height of 10 ft., with long cylindrical branches and shorter, leaf - like secondary branches: crenatures or teeth rather deep, unequal on the opposite sides: bristles wanting: tube of the flower very long and slender, outer sepals brownish, inner pure white; the flower opens late in the evening and closes before dawn; in full bloom the sepals are very strongly recurved. Said to come from Cuba. - Often found in collections under the name of P. latifrons.
cc. stems rather weak, spreading.
d. Petals very narrow: areoles bearing black bristles.
Zucc. (Phyllocactus Iatifrons, Link. P. stenopetalus, Salm-Dyck?). Branches very long and large, crenate or somewhat serrate, acute or acuminate: midrib and usually side ribs evident: areoles with rather large scales and dark bristles: flower 8-10 in. long, spreading and in full bloom bent backward; petals narrow. Supposed to be from Mex., but not known from wild material. - Much advertised as the queen cactus.
dd. Petals broader: areoles without bristles.
Hodkeri, Haw. (Phyllocactus Hookeri, Salm-Dyck). stems 6-10 ft. high: branches rather thin, light green, strongly crenate: flowers night-blooming, 8-9 in. long; flower-tube narrow, tinged with yellow; sepals narrow, lemon-yellow; petals pure white, narrow, 2 in. long; stamens in a single series; style red. Brazil and Guiana. B.M.
2692 (as Cactus phyllanthus). - Although long in cultivation, the species is not now well known, there being 2 or more closely related species in cult, under this name.
aa. Tube of flowers short, always shorter than the limb: day-bloomers. B. Style reddish: flowers 4 1/2 in. broad. Ackermannii, Haw. (Phyllocdctus Ackermannii, Salm-Dyck). Fig. 1402. stems numerous, sometimes reaching 3 ft., somewhat recurved: branches usually less than a foot long, with evident middle and side ribs: areoles on the lower and younger shoots bearing short bristles: flowers scarlet-red outside, carmine-red within, the throat greenish yellow, tube very short, the limb wide-spreading, 4-6 in. diam. B.R. 1331. - Not known in the wild state.
Fig. 1402. Epiphyllum Ackermannii. ( X 1/2)
bb. Style white: flowers smaller than the last.
Sweet (Phyllocactus phyllanthoides, Link). Branches at length hanging, cylindrical at base, lanceolate above; serratures obtuse; middle and side ribs evident; bristles few: flower-tube 2 in. long or less, with spreading scales, the limb somewhat longer, often striate. S. Mex. j. n. Rose.