Family: Cactaceae
Common Name: Orchid Cactus

From the rainforests of Mexico and South America, these epiphytic cactuses have broad, hanging, sometimes deeply lobed stems and large, white to cream, mostly scented flowers. Superb cultivars provide brightly coloured, day-time flowers.


E. crenatum is an erect, much-branched plant, with cylindrical main stems, thick, flattened, notched branches and lovely creamy white, daytime flowers. This species is widely used in hybridizing.

E. hookeri is a lovely, large plant, with narrow, flat, notched branches and white, nocturnal flowers with narrow petals.

E. oxypetalum is tall, with pen­dulous, flat, slightly notched branches and cylindrical stems to 2 m (6 ft) long. Very large, white, nocturnal flowers bloom profusely in spring and summer.


These plants are sensitive to frost so except in tropical or subtropical climates are grown in a warm greenhouse or conservatory or as house plants, in pots or baskets in a soilless cactus compost. They need bright light but shade from sun, and quite a humid atmo­sphere. Water normally in growing season and feed fortnightly; keep just moist in winter. Propagate in summer from stem sections.


Zone 10 at least.

Epimedium      Epipremnum