Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cactus cutting

 And here's the cutting of the Bad Hair Day cactus. (Epiphyllum phyllanthis v. guatamalense f. monstrose) Actually, I was given two cuttings, which were really huge for cuttings and I've turned into four.  I've placed them in their re-cycled pot, with rooting hormone, which probably isn't absolutely necessary, but I have it here and it may help the process along a little quicker, so why not? 
I've watered it well, and now I'll be placing it in it's humidity chamber (which is a fancy name for a zip-lock bag that I bought at the everything for a dollar store.)
A few additional notes on this plant... the leaves (stems actually) are distinctly stiff and leathery, much more so than any other epiphyllum I've ever dealt with.  Probably part of it's monstrose heritage.  I'm sure it's going to root fairly well, as it seems inclined to put out aerial roots, which can very easily turn into real roots, so I'm not foreseeing any real difficulty. 
I also can't find any evidence that this species has been used for hybridization purposes.  (If anybody out there knows of it, please let me know, I'd love to hear about it.) Which I kind of get but kind of don't.  Epiphyllum species (generally called Orchid Cactus because of their showy blooms and orchid-ish culture) are probably some of the most hybridized cactus out there.  I kind of get it, since this species doesn't have a particularly showy flower.  Many 'monstrose' varieties of cactus, no matter what genus, have flowers that are stunted, deformed or plain flat-out non existent.  The non-monstrose variety of this species has a nice respectable 3 to 4 inch wide white, nocturnal flower, borne on a flower tube that can be about 8 inches long , but this monstrose variety bears a 1 inch flower on a tube about 3 or 4 inches long, that may or may not ever fully open.  Since Epi hybridization has always focused on blooms, I can understand why it's never been utilized for hybridization. 
This species, and the rik rak cactus (Epiphyllum anguliger, yesterdays post) are the only plants in the genus that are really valued for their foliage.  The other species in the genus are, like orchids, grown for blooms.  Epi's aren't unattractive plants, actually they'd probably be considered a little more attractive than most orchids, some of which can be considered downright ignorable when they're not blooming, but it's the big showy blossoms that are valued. 
Still, since you're going to be looking at the leaves for the vast majority of the time, shouldn't there be some consideration for the attractiveness of the things? 
It also occurs to me that some of you may be getting a little tired of seeing that bright yellow work table as a base for my plants.  Well... that table seems to be where everything gets done.  Sorry. 

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