EPIPHYLLUM

Most of the Epiphyllums grow on trees in the wild state. They have flattened leaf-like stems a foot or more in length. The flowers are very large and a beautiful trumpet shape, between 3 and 7 inches across; the hybrids are in a wide range of colours, and are a sight when in flower. By means of hybridization of species, an extraordinary number of most beautiful plants have been produced. Those who have not seen them in flower before are often surprised at their beauty. Most kinds open their flowers in the evening and fade about 48 hours later, but as large plants produce a number of buds, the succession of opening flowers may last for about a fortnight.

The season of flowering depends on the temperature of the place in which they are grown, but May is the usual time.

After flowering, the plants should be rested for six weeks, and during this period only sufficient moisture given to prevent the soil drying out completely. At all other times the compost should never be allowed to become too dry. Watering should be less frequent in autumn and winter, and never water in really cold weather. It is beneficial to the plants if they can be placed out of doors for the summer months. Overhead spraying at each watering is appreciated.

A suitable compost in which to grow them is 3 parts leaf-mould, 1 part loam, 1 part sharp sand, and a sprinkling of bone meal. Re-potting should be done in August or September.

Epiphyllum Ackermanii. The plant known as such may be a hybrid but is certainly the most common and widespread of all the Epiphyl-lums. It has fleshy joints, sometimes three-angled. Flowers, large, funnel-shaped; petals, salmon-red with white stamens. Very free flowering.

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