Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Moon Cactus, Queen of the Night, Fish-bone Cactus, Rick-Rack Cactus
Epiphyllum anguliger 'Gertrudianum'

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Epiphyllum (ep-ih-FYE-lum) (Info)
Species: anguliger (an-GYOO-lih-ger) (Info)
Cultivar: Gertrudianum

Synonym:Phyllocactus anguliger
Synonym:Epiphyllum darrahii
Synonym:Phyllocactus darrahii

» View all varieties of Orchid Cactus

13 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Flowers are fragrant
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From leaf cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds
Ferment seeds before storing
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 11 photos.
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4 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive RxBenson On Sep 23, 2008, RxBenson from Pikesville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

"Christine," as I call my E. anguliger (as in the pop star -- yuk yuk), took a couple of years to decide to grow and bloom from a small plant from a New England mail-order nursery. I was led to believe that she was a fall bloomer and indeed she was the first year. Now she blooms twice a year, in waves of about two weeks each. Spring and fall -- mid day length. We're in southern NJ.

She spends the winter in full southeastern sun in my sunroom and the summer May-Sept hanging in dappled shade on a bough of a yellow pine -- where it flowers like crazy with the right day length. Fertilization is haphazard and usually fish emulsion. This summer I "abandoned" many of my green children, neglecting to water them throughout a drought here in NJ, but fortunately the dew was a life-saver for Christine.

I want to disagree with the previous comment that this species sets fruit only in the tropics -- in fact I was visiting Dave's today with the single purpose of asking if anyone knows how to store seed from this plant! (See bekow.) I have uploaded a photo of this fall's new fruit, not yet plump. The fruits are egg-shaped translucent light green -- like non-fuzzy kiwi fruit. In fact, inside they are also similar in that the seeds each have a gelatinous coating. It is that coating that baffles me when I try to figure out how to store them. In many instances removing such a coating destroys some enymes or hydrating aid that is vital to the seed's germination. In other instances it's safe to scrub them clean. I just don't know which is the case for Christine. (Just curious, as this is not a hybridization project and I can always root cuttings.)

NOTA BENE: J.L. Hudson Seedsman has explained that the coated seeds should be removed from the fruits and placed in a jar of water. Let it get yooky -- shaking it up periodically -- until the seeds "rot" free of the gelatin and sink to the bottom of the jar. Then remove the pulpy water and rinse the seeds and spread them to dry.

I leave the fruits on the plant for long periods. The ones I harvested today were a year old. They stay plump and healthy as long as "fed" by the plant. They rot easily -- and attract pesky teeny flies -- when harvested... so best to decide what your plans are for them.

BTW-- the fragrance is very magnolia-like. You can allow the local insects to pollinate outdoors -- or use a small camel-hair art brush to become a human honey bee yourself. Transfer pollen to other blooms, not just on a single flower. Whereas my Xmas cactus fruits turn a pretty decorative pink, Christine's stay green and so aren't all that much of an addition to the plant's appearance -- but you can still amaze your friends with the "spectacle"!

Thank you, J.L. Hudson.

Positive CoolJazz On Jul 9, 2008, CoolJazz from Melbourne
Australia wrote:

I have had this plant growing in the same pot for some 20 years. It has reached approximately 9 feet in height. It produces some 16-20 fragrant, flowers on a single night in mid Summer, with repeat flowering of up to 6 flowers sporadically until first frost. The number of blooms per flowering episode appears to decline with each flowering episode and as temperatures begin to drop. For me, it flowers annually- and there are approximately 6 events per annum.

Position: prefers full sun, north facing aspect and likes to be somewhat pot-bound. (will not flower if left in shade, even light shade)

Growing: In pots, outside. Top dress with Dynamic Lifter every 1-2 years; light prune occassionally for shape as can become straggly. Trim excessively long canes to maintain a balanced pot.

Water Requirements: Low - moderate, tolerates short dry spells

Propagation: From leaf cuttings inserted into potting mix. (For fruit to develop, it requires a tropical climate)

Positive Queen41 On May 28, 2006, Queen41 from Catskill, NY wrote:

This bloomed last nite a round 11 p.m. for the first time since I have had it. It took a long time for me to get one flower.
Will I be getting more flowers and how long do I have to wait for another once?
Will this bloom die off now or will it open again tonite?
It has started to climb toward the ceiling in the dining room.
I have it in a clay pot facing East Side of house where I get the most sun.
I started it from a clipping which I just stuck in a pot of dirt.
It has a beautiful smell........indescribable......heavenly!
I think I have had this plant for about five years.

Positive Two_and_a_cat On May 14, 2006, Two_and_a_cat from Titusville, FL wrote:

What a treat! It looks like a cactus, climbs up into trees, then in late spring/early summer (May) it bloomed- big, beautiful, perfumey blooms! It starts incredibly easy from cuttings- you can just stick 'emin the ground, or start them in water. Everyone who has seen the flowers has asked for some. Here in Titusville it grows great in our SE front yard under and in a large tree (we think it's some kind of ornamental cherry tree).


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Jones, Alabama
Phoenix, Arizona
Clayton, California
Key Largo, Florida
Ocala, Florida
Townsend, Georgia
Chicago, Illinois
Des Moines, Iowa
Deridder, Louisiana
Kenner, Louisiana
Lafayette, Louisiana
Columbus, Mississippi
Whiting, New Jersey
Catskill, New York
Medford, Oregon
Pflugerville, Texas

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