Saturday, November 1, 2014

It's a Beauty



Several years ago, I was given a small plant called a Epiphyllum oxypetalum or sometimes called a Dutchman's pipe or queen of the night. It was not a very attractive plant and one that I would not have purchased for myself. When it finally bloomed, did I ever change my mind about this plant. The flower opens for one night and it produces a beautiful huge fragrant flower. Mine is normally in full bloom by midnight and by morning the bloom is closed and starting to wilt away. I move my potted plant outside in the summer where it stays in bright indirect sunlight till I move it back to the greenhouse for winter. This summer, I could see that a bud would be opening during the night and it did during a heavy rain. I think the rain caused the plant to self pollinate and I had my first fruit that formed on the plant. You can see it in the pictures below.

The flower is huge and beautiful, but only last for a few hours during the night. When dawn arrives the flower has closed and will now die or if you are lucky it may form a fruit.

Epiphyllum oxypetalum is epiphytic and can grow up to 10 feet tall. It can be propagated from tip or joint cuttings and seed. The flowers are 7 to 10 inches long and are very fragrant. They smell like vanilla. If you get lucky, you may have a flower that turns into a fruit and you can save the seed.

The fruit that formed is a beautiful magenta color. This was the first time that my plant produced a fruit.

The little black dots inside the fruit are seeds. The fruit is edible.

This is a plant that I would recommend and one that is worth staying up for a night to enjoy!

Happy Gardening!

Debbie

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