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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 11/29/2012)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 11/29/2012)
Genus EPIPHYLLUM [Hermann] Haw.
PlaceOfPublication Syn. PI. Succ. 197. 1812
Reference Britton & Rose, in Carnegie Inst. Wash. Publ. No. 248. 4:185. 1923.
Synonym Phyllocactus Link, Handb. Erkenn. Gewichse 2:10. 183 1. Phyllocereus Miq. in Bull. Sci. Phys. Nat. Bruxelles 112. 1839.
Description Succulent shrubby plants, usually epiphytic root-climbers; stems phylloid and jointed, usually of two intergrading types: the primary terete or subterete, usu- ally rooting, the secondary (flowering) flattened and leaf-like, lobed or undulate, the areoles marginal, naked or rarely minutely puberulent. Leaves lacking. Flow- ers nocturnal or ephemeral, sessile, borne singly at the areoles; perianth usually large, infundibuliform, the segments very numerous, the outer progressively shorter and less petaloid than the inner, reflexed or spreading, the tube relatively slender, usually longer than the segments, bearing usually few and sparse, inconspicuous bracts, usually without definite areoles; stamens very numerous, the filaments somewhat shorter than the perianth and united at progressively deeper levels to the hypanthium; ovary frequently cylindric-ovoid, with few to numerous naked or rarely minutely puberulent areoles; style filiform, somewhat longer than the stamens. Fruit a fleshy berry with numerous seeds.
Distribution About 20 species of tropical America, with the greatest concentration in Cen- tral America.
Note These are the species of Nightblooming Cereus usually cultivated as house plants in the United States. A characteristic growth pattern of most Epiphyllums is the differentiation of the stems into more or less terete, rooting primary joints and flattened, leaf-like secondary joints upon which the flowers eventually are borne. Areoles appear with geometric regularity upon the secondary joints, but are erratic upon the primary. The two basic types of joint may be combined in any way: a secondary proceeding from a primary, vice versa, a pri- mary from a primary, or a secondary from a secondary.
Key a. Flowers very elongate and slender, the perianth tube 6 or more times longer than the segments; secondary (flowering) stem joints rather narrow- ly serrate, thick and callose-marginate in dessication, the areoles naked or indefinitely papillate ................-.....................-............-....-..-.-...... 1. E. PHYLLANTHUS aa. Flowers usually broad and massive, the perianth tube 2-3 (or less) times longer than the segments. b. Flowers relatively small and inconspicuous, about 8-15 cm. long, the perianth tube 2-3 times longer than the segments; secondary stem joints rather narrowly serrate, thick and callose-marginate in dessica- tion, the areoles naked or indefinitely papillate ............. 2. E. PITTIERI bb. Flowers large and handsome, the perianth tube less than twice as long as the segments. c. Flowers about 15-25 cm. long: primary stem joints rather slender and terete. d. Secondary stem joints rather narrowly serrate, thin in dessication, the areoles minutely puberulent; flowers about 15-20 cm. long. 3. E. LEPIDOCARPUM dd. Secondary stem joints deeply crenate, the areoles minutely puberulent; flowers about 20-25 cm. long ..................................... 4. E. MACROPTERUM cc. Flowers about 40 cm. long; primary stem joints very stout and more or less winged or angled (secondary stem joints unknown) ... 5. E. GIGAS
 
 
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