Epiphyllum questions

Discussion in 'Cacti and Succulents' started by soccerdad, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    I understand that!!! I have had problems keeping everything watered to the plant's satisfication for some time due to my disability but this week some very kind friends, one who is a regular on UBC, came and installed a new overhead watering system in my entire atrium. The old one was vastly inadequate! You should see it rain now!
     
  2. karmahappytoes

    karmahappytoes Active Member

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    Interesting post and I'm not of the norm here. We have around 32 varieties with some of these getting close to 16 years old. We hang these is a shaded area during the hotter months and toss them in the Brugmansia House during the winter months which is kept around 40 to 50 depends on the weather outside. We also try to water them once or twice during the winter months. We have found since keeping them with a cooler winter temp they tend to bloom better. Last year we had over a dozen bloomers at one time.
     
  3. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    I'm certain they can tolerate lower temps than in nature. The question would be for what length of time. We used to grow one in our yard in Florida as do many people and it could drop into the mid 30 degree F range (+2C) but the plant would not be in that temperature long term since it would always be warmer during the day. In my tropical atrium the lowest temperature is 55F (12.7C) and the really big one with almost 2 meter blades blooms from late May until July every year, sometimes 4 or 5 blooms at a time. I'm just not certain how they would do at 1C as Soccerdad asked, which is just above freezing. Especially if there is any length of time involved. One other note, I am uncertain how important the watering may be during the winter. As noted, some growers water them infrequently during the winter and we water them a minimum of twice a week all winter long, sometimes 3 times a week. The plant does not appear to care.

    And that leads me to ask a question. What are those blades called technically???
     
  4. karmahappytoes

    karmahappytoes Active Member

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  5. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Thanks a bunch! I read botany journals almost every day and have been looking for the term, which I now know to be Cladode for several years! Thanks!!
     
  6. Cereusly Steve

    Cereusly Steve Active Member

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    There are only about a dozen species recognized in the genus Epiphyllum. Most of the species originally described as Epiphyllum are now in several other genera.

    There are thousands of intergeneric hybrids currently in the horticultural trade commonly incorrecly called "Epiphyllum hybrids" even though most don't have any currently recognized Epiphyllum species in their parentage at all.

    None of the species occur in tropical rainforest. They are commonly found as epiphytes in tropical forest with seasonal rainfall and a cool season not a constantly hot climate with year-round rainfall.
     
  7. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Steve, can you give us a scientific source for that information? I just checked Kew and TROPICOS and there are in excess of 80 species listed. Many are found in tropical Central America.
     
  8. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    It appears you may be onto something here. I just checked the site of ecologist and Epiphyllum enthusiast Joseph W. Dougherty, http://www.ecology.org/ecophoto/articles/Epiphyllum.htm and he now has them all condensed into 17 species with all the others now synonyms.

    I am still unsure about the species not occuring in tropical rain forest. They may not appear in truly wet rain forest but even Joseph says they appear in rain forest. This is a quote from his site: "They are widely distributed in many parts of tropical Central, and South America, living high in the crowns of trees. Although they are dispersed over a large area, all grow in moist, tropical areas with warm to hot climates."

    If you have another scientific source, please post it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2008
  9. Cereusly Steve

    Cereusly Steve Active Member

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    What do you mean by us?

    If you don't know the intricacies of Cactaceae nomenclature, you shouldn't be making broad statements about it.

    The species name lists in the Kew and Tropicos databases are just lists of names not an evaluation of their current status. Neither is up-to-date. Using them as your reference does not give an accurate representation of the presently accepted classification or synonymy. Synonymy in the Cactaceae is often very extensive with many species having been placed in several different genera over the years. Never use the internet as your primary source of information.

    See Anderson, E.F. (2001) "The Cactus Family" for a current classification of the species. Unfortunately, not even that book is completely up-to-date. Anderson lists 19 species under Epiphyllum but some of the names have since been reduced to synonymy or considered to be hybrids.

    Also do a literature search of recent papers on the classification of Epiphyllum and related genera: Disocactus, Schulumbergera, Rhipsalis, Hatiora and Selenicereus.

    ****************

    The modified stems of Epiphyllum are stem segments that are reduced to two winged ribs and thus appear leaf-like. They are botanically called cladodes.
     
  10. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Well, excuse me for asking you to enlighten the group. I am not sure what your problem is but I make changes to my own website daily when I'm informed there is a problem. I like to be explained in scientific terms when I'm wrong.

    Drop the attitude Steve! We are here to learn.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2008
  11. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Have to agree with photopro. I'm seeing a lot of good information being presented, but often with opening sentences that make me wonder why those sorts of things are being said in an environment such as this where courtesy is expected.
     
  12. greenthumb7

    greenthumb7 Member

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    Yes, snotty doesn't help any of us learn and certainly creates a hostile forum.
     
  13. et2007

    et2007 Active Member

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    I don't know much about these plants, but my bloomed after 10 years from a leave cutting. The red one flower after 3 years.Your look so healthy.
     

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  14. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    My not-really-heated greenhouse (small heater can raise temp by maybe 2 deg at night) will reach at least 25 during the day - and probably 50 if I did not open the ends and turn a fan on, on sunny days - but it may be less than 10 deg for, say, 15 hours. Right now, at 6:30 local time, it is only 12 deg. Think that my epis would survive that?

    I will be polite in my replies. I save my inherent rudeness for work.
     
  15. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    That's a judgment call and I am not qualified scientifically to make it. Based on the advice of others on this forum, you may be just fine.

    I normally attempt to do what one of the botanists I correspond with recommends but in this case I know few who deal actively with this genus. Everything I have on my site (which is minimal) came from one of them or from one of the botanical journals in my library which is limited for this genus. I have never claimed to be an expert in any genus, simply an active student who attempts to learn the scientific truth about the plants I grow.

    I do have a very good friend, Joep Moonen, who works with the French government in preserving rain forest species in French Guiana and the largest of my personal collection of Epiphyllum sp. is said in my journals to have originated in French Guiana. Joep works with internationally recognized botanists all the time and has at least 5 plant species named in his honor. He often discovers species unknown to science. I sent him a note earlier today to seek his advice as well as learn more about how the plant grows in that country. Of great curiosity to me is attempting to learn if Epiphyllum does or does not grow in wet rain forest regions. Once I receive a response I'll gladly pass along what I learn in the form of a direct quote.

    Based on what I've read in several journals today, and I've spent virtually the entire day reading on the subject, Epiphyllum species are commonly found in the wet rain forests of southern Mexico, all of Central America, And most of South America as far south as Bolivia. Some are even found on Caribbean islands including Cuba and Trinidad. I also know a botanical expert in Trinidad and have sent a message to him to see if he can offer any information.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2008
  16. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    Well, I see that the forecast is that for two days of the next 5 it will go down to 2 deg at night. I will wait until that spell passes and then put some of my epis in the greenhouse. If they die, no more will be put there. My fear of course is that they will be fatally hurt but not show if for some time, and in the meantime I will have put the rest into the greenhouse ...
     
  17. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Please allow me to preface this post with the fact that botany is an ever changing science. Information is constantly emerging. I frequently make changes to my website when I become aware of changes in botanical science. When I last read any extensive amount of information on the genus Epiphyllum there were over 80 species noted on scientific sources. So, when I read there were only a dozen species now recognized I immeditely became curious as to the source of that information. The information in many texts is challenged shortly after it is published. But that information appears absolutely true with the current number being something around 17 species.

    I do not doubt that a text exists which states Epiphyllum species don't grow in wet rain forest regions, I simply doubt the accuracy of the statement. I don't have access (but I'm looking) to find a copy of the source quoted in one post above so I have not had the opportunity to read it personally. But as I've said, probably too many times on this forum, I do correspond with many well known botanists and rain forest plant experts when I need to clarify information. And I own a sizeable botanical library. As a result, I often ask questions of qualified experts to clarify information I cannot understand adequately.

    I will readily admit I make no claim to being an expert on Epiphyllum species. I grow a total of three and only one is mature. I don't claim anywhere to be an expert in any species or genus of tropical plant, but I have been to rain forests on many ocassions as a result of my professional life. I am a simply a student of botany (an old one) who reads the technical stuff daily. When I read the post indicating Epiphyllum species are not found in true rain forests I was quite confused. I've read many scientific sources which indicate to the contrary. So yesterday I elected to ask some known rain forest experts and see what their opinions might be. The response below I was hesitant to post due to the tone of one line in the answer. I have never corresponded with Epiphyllum expert Joseph Dougherty so he was unaware of who I am, that I maintain a tropical plant website, or the source of my information. Only of my concern for the accuracy of the information. Please allow me to assure everyone I did not refer to anyone by name. And I did not post the link where the original post could be found. I simply asked if Epiphyllum species are, or are not found in rain forest regions but only in dry regions of tropical countries. I asked similar questions of several other known rain forest experts with whom I correspond on a very regular basis but I found my friend from Trinidad is not familiar with the genus and Joep Moonen who is a qualified expert in French Guiana very recently had a stroke just days ago. I didn't expect an answer from Joep but this morning he surprised me. He responded saying he had never observed an Epiphyllum in the rain forests where he works as a botanical guide and the genus does not appear in the Flora of the Guianas which includes Guiana, Suriname and French Guiana. But shortly afterwards he sent another note saying he had misunderstood my question and Epiphyllum were quite common. Sometimes the differences in native languages create a problem in properly understanding what is being asked or said.

    But I did receive this response came from Epiphyllum ecologist and enthusiast Joe Dougherty, http://www.ecology.org/ecophoto/articles/Epiphyllum.htm, "Absolute rubbish. Whoever wrote that clearly doesn't know what they are talking about. I have seen, in person, many different species of Epiphyllum, Hylocereus and Rhipsalis growing wild in Costa Rica and Honduras in areas that would be considered lowland humid rainforest, as well as in mountainous regions that could be considered cloud forest. I have seen images from northern South America of similar habitat containing Epiphyllum and Disocactus species. So whomever that person is, they are quite mistaken.

    http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?query_src=photos_index&enlarge=0000+0000+1107+1333 Epiphyllum photo in the wild in Costa Rica.


    http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?query_src=photos_index&enlarge=0000+0000+0406+0761 typical habitat


    http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?query_src=photos_index&enlarge=0000+0000+0106+0538

    here is a plant that I photographed out of flower but did not collect any material from.... overhanging the Tortuguero River in NE Costa Rica. I suspect it is a large-bladed Rhipsalis, but it may very well be an Epiphyllum... the line between these genera is, in my opinion, very vague.

    Bottom line is that these plants come from humid and wet regions. Temperatures may vary widely in the ranges of different species, but there is certainly no rule that they come from dry zones. I've seen them thriving in extremely moist regions."

    And one final personal note. My little website has seen a growth in readers that I never expected. I know that since my webmaster set the entire site up using a tracking service and I can tell daily how many individuals visit, what they read, and how long they stay. I just can't tell who they are, only the name of the city or country from where they logged onto the site. If any of you ever read anything you question and feel is inaccurate, PLEASE, point it out. You can do it here or via personal email. My email address can be found at the bottom of the homepage. Whenever I receive such notes I immediately research the information presented and if the site is incorrect, I change it. I am fortunate to have several botanists and botanical experts who peruse the site and offer suggestions for improvement of the information. You will find them quoted by name on many of the pages. My only goal is to present good information to plant enthusiasts in a way they can understand and use. The site is totally non-commercial and we sell nothing. I do it because I enjoy learning about the plants I grow. And the entire site is little more than my personal notes to myself about those species.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2008
  18. karmahappytoes

    karmahappytoes Active Member

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    Hey gang, some of us do specialize in certain plants and my come off as snooty and a snob. We don't mean to, this is why it's hard for some of us to visit forums.

    For an example, I visited Craigslist and saw a fellow had Brugmansia that he was selling
    well I emailed and asked what were the name. He came back and stated they had yellow blooms, okay so my email back was he had yellow NOIDS? I also put my website after my signature and the next email I got back called me, karmabitchytoes?

    One just has to treck lightly sometimes?
     
  19. Cereusly Steve

    Cereusly Steve Active Member

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    Sweet mother of pearl.

    You really know how to beat a subject to death, Photon.

    Do you use that tactic to impress the ladies too?

    If you really want to pester an Epiphyllum expert, why haven't you contacted Myron Kimnach? He's written several articles on Epiphyllum and he's even described several of the species. He's seen the plants in the wild too.

    It all depends on one's definition of "rain forest". Some of the species my be found in geniune rain forest but not all of them are restricted to such a climate. Also we are actually talking about an number of different epiphytic cactus genera and not necessarily Epiphyllum in the moderen sense.

    As I stated before, the fact that many of the species need cool temperatures and short days to bloom is proof they are not found in continuously hot equatorial rain forest. Most are found all through the tropics not just along the equator.

    Selenicereus (Strophocactus) wittii and Disocactus amazonicus do grow in genuine Amazon rain forest and are often mistaken for Epiphyllum by collectors, especially when not in bloom. Some forms of Epiphyllum phyllanthus have been found in rain forest but even that species is not restricted to it and most of the other species are not found in genuine rain forest.

    Disocactus, Selenicereus, Hylocereus and Rhipsalis obviously are not Epiphyllum in the modern sense.

    The differences between the genera is very well marked, that's not just an opinion. It is strongly supported by DNA evidence.

    I almost dug out my Epiphyllum file to compile an up-to-date list of the currently accepted species but that will need to wait for another day. The links you provided do not reflect the current list nor cite the full synonymy. A few of the names have bit the dust or been reduced to subspecies and there is at least one new species that have been named.
     
  20. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Actually Mr. Jankalski I have no legs, am in a wheelchair and don't try to impress any woman other than my wife of 41 years. Please post a method for contacting Myron Kimnach and I will gladly consult with him. This genus has never been high on my list of species I study but it is about to become one and I always enjoy having a list of qualified experts for consultation.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2008
  21. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    I just learned through a very good friend who is a rain forest expert that Myron Kimnach is the director emeritus of Huntington Gardens and the former editor of CSSA journal...of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America and other notable material. I have sent several emails to botanist friends at the Huntington and hope to have an email address shortly. Thanks very much for the lead.
     
  22. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    I profess no knowledge of anything at all. I grow plants just because they are pretty or tasty, because I get some sense of satisfaction in growing my own plants, and because something that I cannot identify - but probably connected to my mom's having been a good gardener - made me feel the need for a garden when I first rented a place with a yard.

    Having said that ... the weather is predicted to be about 11-12 C during the days for the next week. Cloudy days, so my greenhouse will be about 20 C. But at night the prediction is for 6 C, which will therefore be reached about 6 a.m. I could drag a tarp over it each night and then take it off in the morning before going to work, and with the heater going the greenhouse would probably stay at or above 10 C most nights. But that is way way way too much work. So we will see how my epis tolerate 6 deg nights and 20 deg days.

    If I do not report back it will mean that they all died and I am too distraught to post. Or else that I forgot. One of the two anyway. Unless something intervenes of course.
     
  23. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    I wish you only success and look to hear your report.

    In the meantime, I've just been given Dr. Kimnach's address as well as his email address and asked that he comment on whether or not he believes the genus Epiphyllum should be considered a tropical rain forest species. I also gave him the link on my own website to the one species I grow and asked he offer any suggestions that might correct errors or improve the page. If I am fortunate enough to receive a response, I will post his opinion. I did also learn he is well past the age of 80 (born 1922) so I'm not certain when I may receive a response.

    I would also suggest anyone interested in this genus read this article on the Cactus and Succulent Society of America website. I found a few quotes in their article which I thought to be of great interest. "Most of the blooms of the 16 true 'Epiphyllum' species are fragrant and all have white flowers, through some of the outer petals have tinges of yellow, cream and strawcolor. E. cooperi flower from the base of the plant, the buds develop slowly at first and may take up to 10 weeks to open. These plants that came from the dense tropical forests of Central and So. Amer. live in humid jungle conditions. They live high in the crotches of trees, in pockets of humus, getting partial sun or shade under the swaying branches of the trees."

    http://www.cssainc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=213&Itemid=212
     
  24. Cereusly Steve

    Cereusly Steve Active Member

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    I've always had my doubts about Epiphyllum crenatum (including Epiphyllum cooperi) being correctly placed in that genus. In many ways it is more like Disocactus (especially the former Nopalxochia) and has even been mistaken for a white flowered Nopalxochia ackermannii by some authors.

    Saw your website.

    Your plant is typical Epiphyllum phyllanthus ssp. phyllanthus.

    Your Chlorophytum species is plain old Chlorophytum comosum.

    Your Plectranthus is definitely not P. purpuratus. It is one among several species that was brought over years ago from Africa by Mary Bleck at Abbey Gardens and was known simply as Plectranthus #2. It has been very shy to flower and difficult to correctly ID. Still not sure of its correct name.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2008
  25. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your input. Please note my addition to the top of this page: http://www.exoticrainforest.com/Plectranthus purpuratusi large pc.html I post scientific names that are given to me by qualified experts but always research information that is applicable to specimens of importance to the collection. I do not have a page on Epiphyllum cooperi and my only quote on that species was taken directly from the pages of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America website and written by Deborah Wisniewska-Jones.

    Regretably, you elected to read about three of the most insignificant plants in the entire collection of over 300 species. My primary focus is on aroids, especially Anthurium and Philodendron species. If you will take the time read a page such as this one you will learn more about my passion for accuracy on those species: http://www.exoticrainforest.com/Anthurium hookeri pc.html

    During the evening I received several responses from people who personally know Myron Kimnach and have been told they will urge him to respond to this post.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2008

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