Night Blooming Cereus II

What is this plant?

Epiphyllum oxypetalum, the scientific name for this plant identifies the name “Night Blooming Cereus” as incorrect. The plant is of the genus Epiphyllum, identifying it as an epiphytic organism that grows on the surface of a plant and derives its moisture and nutrients from the air, rain, water (in marine environments) or from debris accumulating around it.  

Nor is it in the tribe Cereeae, derived from the Greek and Latin word for “wax”, “torch” or candle. Plants of the Cereeae tribe, including those in the genus Cereus, are cactus with a columnar structure, are are terrestrial, not epiphytic, plants.

Epiphyllum oxypetalum, also know as Dutchman’s pipe cactus, princess of the night, queen of the night, is a species of cactus and one of the most cultivated species in its genus. E. oxypetalum rarely blooms and only at night, and its flowers are reported to wilt before dawn.

The species name oxypetalum is derived from the word, “oxy” meaning sharp, pointed, acute for the characteristic petal shape.

For the bloom photographed here, I can report it was in this condition 7 am, after sunrise, and did not wilt until after noon.

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References

Wikipedia, “Epiphyllum, “Epiphyllum oxypetalum,”epiphyte.”

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