Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cactus Surprise

Since last winter I have had an Epiphyllum specimen which I took to be a Dutchman's pipe or queen of the night epiphyllum (Epiphyllum oxypetalum), associated in much of South and Southeast Asia with a popular fairy tale about a prince, a fairy named Bakāvalī, and the fairy's magic flower with healing powers - in Malay it is even known as bunga bakawali or "Bakawali flower"! Tonight my plant's first bloom opened, and it has turned out to not be Epiphyllum oxypetalum at all but Epiphyllum strictum, very similar but with spidery flowers of even purer white.

Epiphyllum strictum

The flower has a spicy, grassy fragrance that carries quite far. I am very pleased with it. Though of course now I will also have to get a real Epiphyllum oxypetalum.

6 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! Unfortunately the flowers only last one night, and so far there are no more buds in sight.

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  2. That's pretty neat.

    If it were a little warmer, I'd offer to mail a few cuttings from my E. oxypetalum. If you can't find one before the spring, let me know.

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    1. That is too kind! I will let you know if none turns up - and let me know if you want any Epiphyllum strictum!

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  3. So beautiful! I have three pots of E. oxypetalum that grow so lush and show me their flowers almost every month.

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    Replies
    1. How wonderful! I hope this one will flower more frequently, too, as it grows older.

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