An interesting plant, but what is it?

noonamah, Australia

A friend has this plant which looks like a succulent.

Thumbnail by tropicbreeze
noonamah, Australia

It doesn't seem to have flowered at any time yet, although it's growing very healthily.

Thumbnail by tropicbreeze
noonamah, Australia

Close up view.

Thumbnail by tropicbreeze
Keaau, HI

Hi Tropicbreeze, I think the plant is a Rhipsalis Cacti. It is sometimes sold in nurseries here. I have not found a species match for the plant yet though.

(Zone 5b)

Hey, Tropicbreeze!

I saw it in PF under Selenicereus anthonyanus, but it's only one pic that looks like your friend's plant: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/223492/ . I see a tag in Palmbob's pic, cannot really make what it's written there, but he might have the correct one... There are several (about 20) species of Selenicereus, maybe this helps your search. Most of them are nocturnal flowering, and fragrant. Either white, or red tubular beautiful flowers.

It may take a couple of years to flower from cuttings, and it is possible that it flowers at night, so your friend should keep the eyes open for developing buds. Most people cultivate them as with Epiphyllums. If in pots, apparently they like to be a little crowded, towards rootbound to flower. They like water in the summer, but water sparingly in winter. Very good drainage if in pots, and bright indirect light or dappled shade should be best, as they are epiphitic, and in nature they grow in trees.

I've got the other, that appears in the rest of the submitted photos. Impatiently waiting for it to bloom (but my cutting is just 6 mo old, so I have a lot of impatience!!!)

(Zone 5b)

OK, I gave a search just for Selenicereus, and I found it under Selenicereus chrysocardium / fernleaf cactus http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/105694/

Keaau, HI

Good work Alexandra!

noonamah, Australia

Thanks Dave. Possibly you'll need a flower for that but the plant isn't cooperating. I looked them up on the web but of the photos I found none had the 'fern-like' appearance. I'll keep looking though.

Keaau, HI

Try Googling "Epiphyllum chrysocardium Images", you will see your plant.

noonamah, Australia

Missed your post but that looks spot on Alexandra, thanks. I was promised some cuttings so I expect to have it growing all over my place soon :O)

(Zone 5b)

You're welcome, Breeze!
You can take cuttings at any time, no need to have a big one, I've seen pieces of one stem rooting as well as a whole stem. I've read of some folks rooting as little as a 2" piece (5cm). It is suggested that you leave the cutting for about 1 week, to callous the wound, before actually sticking it in a good draining soil, so the cutting doesn't rot. (my cuttings calloused while traveling by mail, to me). After being stuck in soil, water once, and then again when soil is dry. You can mist the plant, if you are concerned about the humidity.
Winter cuttings tend to root slower (or at least show you that they rooted, by sending new growth), but they do root in all seasons. Mine were started in late November, and obviously would love some more air humidity, as they sent lots of aerial roots. In growing season, water more, but I would still let the soil dry a bit between waterings.

These succulents/cacti (Epiphyllums, Selenicereus, Rhipsalis, Schlumbergera) are easy to root and grow, I don't know about how easy they are to flower, I'm not there yet.

Dave, thanks! Coming from you, I'm blushing! I have a quite limited knowledge, mostly about plants that I want or I have...

Hugs,
Alexandra

noonamah, Australia

Thanks again Alexandra, there shouldn't be any problems getting them rooted here. Also pleased to know the pieces can be small, and how long they need to be left to callous over. We're in mid winter now but the temps for the past couple of weeks have been a maximum of 34C to 35C and minimums down to 20C to 22C. Only that our humidity during the day can drop to 30% when it's warmest, and 95% at night when it's coolest. But I put anything needing higher humidity to get started in the bathroom which stays more humid.

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