What is an epiphyte?

". . . a plant that grows upon another plant (such as a tree) non-parasitically or sometimes upon some other object (such as a building or a telegraph wire), derives its moisture and nutrients from the air and rain and sometimes from debris accumulating around it, and is found in the temperate zone (as many mosses, liverworts, lichens and algae) and in the tropics (as many ferns, cacti, orchids, and bromeliads) — called also air plants."[1]

From wiki

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hatiora, "easter cacti"

The lesser known cousin of the Christmas cacti, schlumbergeras ,
the hatioras hail from the same realm as they do,the mountains near Sao Paulo .

There are several species, including

hatiora ephiphiloides
hatiora gaertneri
hatiora rosea
hatiora cylendrica
hatiora herminea
hatiora salicorniodes

the cacti most often sold as easter cacti are
hybrids of h.gaertneri and h. rosea

here is hatiora rosea, a liliputian
easter cacti with thimble sized rose pink blossoms in the spring

And here is her cousin, h. gaertnerii, these are the parents
of our modern Easter cacti.

Some of the hybrids i have of these two
a white form

and a lovely full pink form

you can see it's blooming before the leaves have fledged
in the spring,and I hang it out in the dogwood,
with the daffodils, crocus and hyacinths nearby,
as they compliment each other nicely.

An interesting form, h. salicornioides
is also known as the drunkards dream cactus,
due to the wine bottle shaped segments that make up
the modified stems, blooms little delicate yellow flowers
in the spring.

Christmas cacti, schlumbergera

Our Christmas cacti here in the us will be budding up soon,
and since this is a well known favorite epiphyte of many people
I'm going to start here.
There re several species of christmas cacti all native to a small
mountainous region in Sao Paulo ,they are all endangered in habitat.

species include

Schlumbergera kautskyi

Schlumbergera opuntioides

Schlumbergera orssichiana

Schlumbergera microsphaerica

Schlumbergera russelliana

Schlumbergera truncata

Most of the christmas cacti we see today are hybrids of s. truncata


with one or more of the others, the oldest being the "antique" christmas cactus
Schlumbergera x buckleyii

Here are several modern day s. truncata hybrids of my own

cyber dancer? a thor?
there are many hybrids and many names, hard to keep up!

Unknown yellow

This one came as thor zina

This one is "limelight" also pictured below

my white unknown schlum,which shattered last year,as they
sometimes do for various reasons most often a draft or chill from
an open window, or over watering, they do this to spread around
as the pieces would easily re root elsewhere in the mountain jungle
they hail from.

hybrid Purple devil