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Epiphyllum oxypetalum

Previously known as:

  • Cereus greggii
  • Cereus pottsii
Phonetic Spelling
ep-ih-FE-lum ks-ee-PET-al-um
Description

Queen of the Night is a night-blooming, tropical epiphyte to lithophyte with huge showy fragrant white flowers that close up by dawn. There are no true leaves, but flattened stems that can be easily rooted.

Give this plant well-drained average succulent/cactus soil mix in partial shade or bright, indirect light. Soak the soil completely when watering and water frequently, letting the top of the soil dry out between waterings. Bring inside when temperatures cool and cut down on watering during the winter to 1-2 times per month.

 

VIDEO Created by Laura Barth for "Houseplants, Succulents, and Cacti", a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

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Tags:
#weeping#fragrant#arching#fragrant flowers#houseplant#perennials#white flowers#bats#nighttime garden#large flowers#night-flowering#edible fruits#cactus#patio planting#partial shade tolerant#container plants#hsc#hsc-c
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#weeping#fragrant#arching#fragrant flowers#houseplant#perennials#white flowers#bats#nighttime garden#large flowers#night-flowering#edible fruits#cactus#patio planting#partial shade tolerant#container plants#hsc#hsc-c
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Epiphyllum
    Species:
    oxypetalum
    Family:
    Cactaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    S. Mexico, Central America
    Wildlife Value:
    Large flowers pollinated by bats.
    Edibility:
    The fruits are edible.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Houseplant
    Perennial
    Succulent
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Multi-stemmed
    Weeping
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10b, 10a, 11b, 11a, 12b, 12a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Pink
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    A bright magenta fruit similar to pitaya/dragonfruit. The inner flesh is white and contains small black seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Pink
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Shape:
    Radial
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    > 6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Huge, showy, white flowers with fragrant blooms. The sepals may be yellowish or pinkish. They grow on long floral tubes that emerge from the cladode margins. They bloom annually for only one night, each flower lasting a few hours.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Fleshy
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Undulate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    No true leaves but flattened stems with crenate and wavy margins. See stem information.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    What appear to be leaves are cladodes– flattened stems that function like a leaf. They are eliptic with undulate or crenate margins. The flowers grow from the margins of these stems.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Patio
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Nighttime Garden
    Attracts:
    Bats