Well I know what they AREN'T......

Discussion in 'Cacti and Succulents' started by Bard, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. Bard

    Bard Member

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    ... but I don't know what they ARE. Any hints?

    This first one I picked up at a store, no tag, took it home because it was intriguing. It seems to be growing well and strong, I just have no clue what it is. In the first picture, it's not wilting, just grown straight towards the sun and in need of turning. In the second, taken from the other side, you can see the trunk is thick and strong. In the closeup, you can see that the tips of some of them are actually inverted like little cups...

    Looks like I'm gonna have to post again on this thread to show the other plant. So I'll go do that. :D
     

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  2. Bard

    Bard Member

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    Now for the second mystery plant:

    This poor thing is not a happy plant! I got it from a cousin, who had been told it was a cactus, and treated it as such. I think they were calling it a cactus because of all the spines, but it reacts like a succulent. He lives in New England, so there was plenty of humidity to keep it alive, outside on the porch in summer and indoors in a cool room in winter. It sure seems to be a succulent, and is responding better to more water, but it's still in pretty bad shape.

    Some of the stems are wide and flat, some triangular, and some round. I don't know if that reads well in the photos, and I didn't want to cut cross-sections unnecessarily. Roots come out from just about everywhere (as you can see in the closeup), and cuttings are easy to grow. Some of the stems grew three or four feet long, and in order to encourage new growth I clipped those off and am making cuttings of them.

    Any hints on what this poor fellow is, and how I can make him happy??
     

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  3. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Epiphyllum, maybe?
     
  4. Bard

    Bard Member

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    Hmmmmm.... well a Google image search of Epiphyllum shows what looks a lot like what I've got, except the stems/leaves seem much flatter than mine. The resemblance is very strong, though. The seeming flatness may be a result of the photos. It really does look like the right plant.

    I've been told (family legend) that it has flowered in the past, but I've never seen it do so myself, so I don't know what the blossoms would look like. The plant has been in the family for at least a hundred years (my mother's aunt, who died in her 80's some time back in the 1990's, got it from her mother who had it as long as mom's aunt could remember, and who knows beyond that?), so who knows how long it's been since last flowering, if it's been treated with little/no water over the years? It'd be amazing to see it bloom someday...
     
  5. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Oh, you are in for a treat. Search 'epiphyllum' here on the Forum and you will be thrilled! This is one plant I do not have and wish I did. These flowers are worth the wait.
     
  6. Bard

    Bard Member

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    Just in the past few minutes I've been reading up on it, and if this is the right plant, it needs TONS of work... but you're right, they're gorgeous when flowering.

    I think I'm going to have to select some good spots and make cuttings and try to make them grow correctly. The one I have now is unlikely to bloom even with TLC. I'll give some cuttings the TLC.

    Well since I'm going to be working on it anyway... how shippable is it?
     
  7. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Bard from Butte,
    Your first plant is called by many names, Dollar Plant, Jade Plant, Jade Tree, Money Tree, Finger Jade. It's true name is Crassula ovata 'Gollum'. ;))) barb - born in Billings.
     
  8. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Thanks for the ID, Barb! I thought that it looked jade-like, but I'd never seen one all tubular like that. Cool!
    (Also cool is all this alliteration---Bard from Butte, Barb born in Billings.)
     
  9. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Amy,
    You gave me a new word, had to look that one up. Thank you! I just thought it sounded friendly.
    ;))) barb
     
  10. Bard

    Bard Member

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    Well thank you, Barb born in Billings! With a name like "Gollum" I think I'm honour-bound to name him Smeagol, my preciousssss..... I don't name all my plants, but sometimes you just have no choice!

    I wish I could be an agent of adding to the always amusing art of alliteration with an appropriate account or anecdote of analogous antecedence, but alas, my ancestry arose away from this agreeable abode, in the area of Ashfield, Massachusetts. I'm a transplant to Montana, we moved here when I was a mere cutting of three years old. I've definitely taken root, though.
     
  11. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Ha! Smartly done, Bard.
    Am anticipating ancillary anecdotes.
     
  12. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Bard - your much better at this than I. I just fell into it.

    Yes I do think "Smeagol" is a must. Then watch peoples faces when you mention it. I generally don't name my plants but my daughter calls her spider plant her arachnid foliage. As you said somethimes it just has to be.

    My Parents flipped a coin during the war years. Little if any work in Mont.- a bit more in Kansas and much more in Sea. So the choice was Kan. or Seattle. Seattle won thank heaven!

    Amy - are you the one that works in a library? I remember someone on this forum does. barb
     
  13. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Yep. And Liz is a librarian.
     
  14. Bard

    Bard Member

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    I do wish I had something constructive to add to this board, but I'm afraid I know very little about plants beyond enjoying their presence in my home. I've got a few more questions about another plant or two, but I doubt I'll be able to be of any help to anyone. This makes me feel a bit out of my depth...
     
  15. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Tell me not in mournful numbers, Bard!
    Ask away! What plants are these for which you seek information? Brings't thou a question? Pose it, I say!
     
  16. Bard

    Bard Member

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    My querulous questions quietly quiver, knowing knowledge will not be nixed, yet weathering wearisomely the week while waiting the waning of other worthwhile yet wily works.



    I'll be back next week when things aren't so hectic around here.
     
  17. Dana09

    Dana09 Active Member

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    Fear not!
    Epis do not require a lot of work ! they do need the right temp to bloom; whether it is the diff between nite & day temps or day length or a combo but I suspect the temps as I did not have great success with blooms until I put them in the garage to overwinter as I was about to give up.
    I will post a pic or 2.
    I kept them warm enough to keep them alive & that's all as our winter was cold.
    I had great blooms when I lived in a house with wood heat where the nite temps would drop especially in spring when the stove did not really need to be kept going all nite. About 50 blooms on the pink one ! Really not all that hard !
    A friend had hers bloom on her window sill where she drew the curtains at nite and I think that kept them cooler and they also heated with a wood stove which cooled down at nite.
    No special soil mix tho one year I tried an orchid mix with osmundia bark to no great change so, just ordinary good soil on the peaty side.

    It will be great to see which colour you get hey?

    D
     

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    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
  18. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Oh, Dana! How gorgeous! Their care kinda sounds like what I do with Christmas cacti.
    I GOTTA get one of these. ---Well, I'll start with one...!
    Just beautiful. My jaw has dropped, my eyes are glazed!

    Bard, after your stellar statement, I doubt not that you require rest and recuperation of your mental magnificence!
     
  19. Dana09

    Dana09 Active Member

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    Yes T,
    They are great showy flowers. I've got three now. The 2 reds, the left being more trumpet shaped and the right one being more flared, both about the same size - huge !
    And I'll add a sample of the sizing of the pink.

    Do let cut ends of this one dry a bit to seal before striking a cutting, Bard.
    They do great from cuttings.
    I guess I need to read more about them if you think that one won't bloom.

    Till I left my rat tail cactus in the garage also I never saw it bloom. That's the orange one.
    And yes, my xmas cactus is now in full bud too.


    D
     

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  20. thanrose

    thanrose Active Member 10 Years

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    Just letting y'all know that Bard's cactus is NOT an epiphyllum. It may bloom beautifully or not, but it's not Epiphyllum spp. See all the spines and glochids? Spines are mostly absent on true Epiphyllum spp. You may see them on the juvenile leaves, but you are more likely to see threadlike roots. The triangular stems are also not a predominant feature of epis. Once in a while, yeah, but they revert to the flat leaf and stem.

    E. oxypetalum in nature is a night flowering white petal flower. All those colors are hybrids made with other cacti. There would surely be some of those hybrids with more triangular stems and more spines as in Bard's pic, but no Epiphyllum spp. will have the predominance of triangular stems and proliferation of spines.

    I'm not a cactus expert, but I'd suggest looking at the Cereus spp. and other epi relatives for an ID.
     
  21. Dana09

    Dana09 Active Member

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    Thks Trose,
    Maybe that's why they're easy to grow!

    D
    PS Bard, it looks a bit on the dry side, from seeing the wrinkles on the leaf. It ought to plump nicely with a little care.
    I hang mine as slugs will eat the flowering bits of the leaf when the buds are just forming inside if I leave them down.
     
  22. Dana09

    Dana09 Active Member

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    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
  23. thanrose

    thanrose Active Member 10 Years

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    Some of them will even tell you they are Selenicereus spp. So, yeah, they are incorrect on their labeling. An Epiphyllum is not a Selenicereus or Hylocereus or Cryptocereus or any other cereus.

    Sellers need to label things the way they sell. They can and do call these orchid cactus or night blooming cereus, but those labels are pretty names, and pretty useless at that.

    If we are on a botany forum, we need to be more precise. It's not rigid thinking. It's trying to cut out the bull. I don't particularly care what people want to call things, but when this thread continued with the assumption that Bard's plant was an Epiphyllum when it clearly isn't, I felt the need to describe why it isn't for future readers who may do searches.

    The lovely Anthony's Rick-Rack is Cryptocereus anthonyanus. You certainly may have some Epiphyllum spp., Dana, and if they have flat stems, few to no glochids, nocturnal flowering, and white flowers, they probably have not been crossbred with other cacti. Colorful flowers other than white or some yellow have been crossbred with other cacti. They may still be classified as Ephiphyllum spp. though.
     
  24. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

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    It is completely meaningless to look at Cereus, they are not epiphytic cacti and belong to another tribe than Selenicereus and the other -cereus you mentioned. The latter are however closely related to Epiphyllum.

    I would wait for the flowers before I thought more about the ID. Most plants I've seen of the same age have had red flowers, (inherited from Disocactus, I think).
     
  25. Dana09

    Dana09 Active Member

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    Just to get it perfectly clear for my self....
    Did you say that it is ok to call them epis if they are hybrids?
    I have had one of my reds for 30 + yrs and never had a name for it; from a thrift shop or somewhere.
    Had another more fluted red piece given to me 2 yrs ago which bloomed this summer, again no name. Dunno where I got the pink now.

    I have searched the net and haven't yet been able to find any like mine that are not called epis. Now I at least know that they might at least be hybrid epis.
    I cannot find anything else with a flower like these.
    The hylocereus came closest and mine even have a wee speckle fleshed fruit similar to the dragon fruit's inside, sometimes.

    I'd like to know what to call my 3 if they are not true epis.
    They do not necessarily open at night and not scented tho I remember watching one open at nite, a red, many years ago.
    I remember reading long ago that the not flat, the tri-sided leaf is the best material for making new starts with an epi. The confusion seems long-standing and certainly for me.
    I had many years of no blooms until I gave them cool nites once more. And once when I left one out in a trailer that froze, it recovered from the roots but did not bloom that year.

    And I do know that the amount of light they get affects the shape of their leaves a great deal. Upright, thick and strong with light or long and thin and very trailing if not enough light, getting wider in the leaf when they are lit again.
    Anyhow, lots of fun watching what they do over the years.

    I know that it matters not what I call my plants at home but I do like to get it right anyway, no mater how long it takes!
    I'm a bit of a slow study, as you might have guessed.
    Thks
    D
    Thank-you for being so conscientious TR.
     

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