Epiphyllum ric rac (left) and Epiphyllum zig zag (right)

Epiphyllum Ric Rac, Queen of the Night, Fishbone Cactus, et al

‘Orchid Cactus’ – Epiphyllum anguliger

Epiphyllum is a genus of succulent/cacti originating from hot and tropical regions in Central and South America.  We have a variety of Epiphyllums at The Palm Room – ric rac being one of our personal favorites because of their unique foliage.

This plant is known to grow amongst the branches of trees and flower profusely in mid to late Spring.  Epiphyllums are epiphytic, meaning they use aerial roots to absorb moisture from the air and climb a supporting structure.  Flowers are white, big (up to 8 inches across), and fragrant- and bloom only at night.

The foliage resembles the zig-zag ribbon you may have seen on clothing or quilts – known as ‘ric rac.’ It is leathery in texture and can grow 2- 3 feet in length.  Propagation is easily done through leaf cuttings.

Care Tips

Light:  Partial Sun/Partial Shade.  Epiphyllum can easily tolerate full sun but is happiest in a few hours of either morning or afternoon sun.

Water:  Allow soil to get about 50% dry between waterings.  Do not overwater but water somewhat regularly.  An every other week regime might be the ideal but Epiphyllum can handle a drought.  The foliage tends to shrivel a bit after this plant flowers, but do not increase watering.  Except this as a fact of nature and soon the leaves will plump up again.

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