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

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Two Rhipsalis Blooming

 
Many rhipsalis bloom at the same time as the common Christmas cacti 
that so many people keep, Schlumbergera, and make wonderful companions
in the holiday bloom display indoors.

 

This is rhipsalis pilocarpa, 
sometimes called the mouse tail cactus


due to the appearance and texture of the furry stems.
They bear rather large flowers for a rhipsalis, which dangle
gracefully on long pendulous stems.
It comes from Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro, and like it's cousin
the Christmas cactus that shares the region, it is rare and endangered.
Another rhipsalis from this region that blooms alongside my schlumbergera
is the beautiful rhipsalis occidentalis, shown below


.
The petals are distinctly yellow, and the stamens
spray out whimsically into a poof, these are delicate little flowers
that bear the lightest, cleanest scent when smelled closely.
 
They are born on very attractive foliage like stems that
hang several feet from the pot in full pendulous form,
  
I hang this one on the front porch over the summer,
rhipsalis occidentalis

 
it provides the rich foliage and form that a 
Boston fern provides except it last 
for years and years & only needs water 
once a month ,so no returning home to dead 
plants on the porch, many rhipsalis
with fuller growth are perfect for this, 
I have several that fish in complements
from passers by all season long,
get a few and try them out,
you'll love not throwing out expensive 
dead Boston ferns every year,
Rhipsalis are usually about the same price
as a good Boston fern and offer
their holiday bloom displays,stick them in a
southern window over the winter, 
they don't shed a bit.Very low water needs
and their lovely hanging foliage of many 
many forms swaying gently and carefree 
in the summer breeze will really make
you appreciate them for years.