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.

Click me for the next post of this series.


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

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Night Blooming Cereus I

Photomerge vs. high f-stop

It is possible to puzzled over my choice of an ungainly potted plant acquired over two years ago from the Eddydale farm stand. We popped in for tomatoes, sweet corn and watermelons after a hike along nearby Treman Park, I spotted the plant on display in the front. The cashier suggested we visit the greenhouse to view the parent, currently in bloom. Memory of the blossoms were short lived as we lived with this collection of malformed green lobes sprouting long stalks.

The plant occupied a pool-side water barrel summers, a bedroom corner winters. This year, 2020, flower buds formed late July, one on a lengthening stalk. “Dutchman’s pipe cactus” is a popular name, from the appearance of the flower on the end of a stalk turned up with a terminal curve.

Keeping a watch eye on progress, I noted a swelling on Wednesday, September 23rd morning, more pronounced by evening. First thing Thursday morning the flower was in full glory. I used a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with the Canon EF 70 – 300 mm lens. The variable focal length lens can be used for macros, offering more flexibility compared to the 100 mm macro lens.

For the first three photographs of this series I used the Photoshop feature Photomerge, combining 12 or so image files. For each file the camera was mounted on a Manfrotto BeFree carbon fiber tripod with a ball head. Focus was on manual and, using the screen of the Canon 5D I gradually changed the focus, crisp focus moving between planes. In theory, the Photomerge chooses the best focus for each image producing a perfect result.

As the session progressed the scene brightened and for these last two photographs I used aperture priority at the highest value (36) and autofocus.

Here is a comparison of a merged and high aperture photograph.

Click me for another flower post, “Another Woody Peony.”

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved