Silver Star Rose

Silver Star Rose

Friday, January 23, 2009

Nightblooming Cereus

Night-blooming cereus, also called Queen of the night or Reina de la noche, are names of several genera and species of nightblooming cactus. The nightblooming cereus is also known as the lunar flower, moon flower and luna flower.

Epiphyllum oxypetalum (Dutchman's Pipe) is a species of cactus and one of the most cultivated species in the genus. It is also referred to as Night blooming Cereus and often confused with species of Selenicereus.

This species was originally described from cultivated material and its true place of origin has never been truly understood. In 1909, C. A. Purpus collected a slightly different type in St. Ana, Orizaba, Mexico. It has carmine red outer petals and the flowers have an unpleasant smell, rather than being fragrant. It was originally named Phyllocactus purpusii, but does probably not deserve any botanical recognition.

Stems erect, ascending, scandent or sprawling, profusely branched, primary stems terete, to 2-6 m long, flattened laterally, ligneous at base, secondary stems flat, elliptic-acuminate, to 30 cm x 10-12 cm, thin; margins shallowly to deeply crenate and ± undulate. Flowers produced from flattened portions, to 30 cm long, 12-17 cm wide, nocturnal, very fragrant. The principal odor component in the aroma is benzyl salicylate; pericarpel nude, slightly angled, green, bracteoles short; receptacle 13-20 cm long, 1 cm thick, brownish, arching, bracteoles narrow, ca 10 mm long; outer tepals linear, acute, 8-10 cm long reddish to amber; inner tepals oblanceolate to oblong, acuminate, to 8-10 cm long and 2,5 cm wide, whitish; stamens greenish white or white, slender and weak; style greenish white or white, 4 mm thick, as long as inner tepals, lobes many, pale yellow or white.. Fruit oblong, 12 x 8 cm, purplish red, angled.