Epi phy, ho hum.

If you have a cactus plant and need help identifying it, this is the place to post it.
Post Reply
conaire
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 10:44 am

Epi phy, ho hum.

Post by conaire »

Hello to you all.
I don't know if anyone can help.I would like to know if there is much difference between Epiphyllum/Disocactus ackermanii and Epiphyllum Red Sails.I think I have both but don't know which one is which .The stems are badly damaged as I left them outside too late in the year. Are the blooms similar on both?
Any assistance appreciated
Conaire.
DaveW
Posts: 7074
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:36 pm
Location: Nottingham, England/UK

Re: Epi phy, ho hum.

Post by DaveW »

The short answer is Yes! Unfortunately what is now passed off as "Epiphyllum ackermannii" (note two n's) in cultivation is a hybrid, just like your Epiphyllum 'Red Sails'. The original of what is now known as Disocactus ackermannii was used for hybridisation in the UK, but due to a very bad winter in the early days was lost. To quote from the following link:-

"In 1824, George Ackermann brought a part of a stem with him from Mexico and gave that to Tate who succeeded in flowering the specimen. Another specimen raised from Mexican seeds confirmed that this was really a novelty from Mexico and not a hybrid. The species was soon lost in cultivation. During the latter half of the 19th century, when cacti gave away to ferns, palms and orchids, only the toughest survived and as D. ackermannii is quite tricky it soon became lost in cultivation."

In fact in modern terms there is no Epiphyllum blood in the false ackermannii at all, it is a Disocactus/Heliocereus cross. This hybrid is today correctly referred to as Disocactus × hybridus 'Ackermannii'.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disocactus_%C3%97_hybridus" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The original D. ackermannii is now almost impossible to obtain as authentic known collected material, since only a few botanical gardens or collectors seem to have it. See:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disocactus_ackermannii" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

A similar situation occurred with what is now known as the Christmas Cactus, which is an old hybrid called 'Buckleyi', and in the past was often mistakenly called Zygocactus truncatus since the true "Crab Claw" cactus Schlumbergera (Zygocactus) truncatus being far more tender was also lost in the early European collections and the name misapplied to it's more vigorous hybrids.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schlumbergera" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;.

As to your original question, there are so many nondescript crosses similar to the hybrid "ackermannii" which have been made that look almost identical and were really never worth naming as distinct, also as the stems are so variable these are often not diagnostic either:-

http://mattslandscape.com/detail/?plant ... ed%20Sails" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://www.paghat.com/orchidcactus2.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

If the plant produces three-angled as well as flattened two ribbed stems you can be sure it is not the true Disocactus akermannii since this comes from hybridising with Heliocereus:-

https://allthingsplants.com/thread/view ... m-tonight/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://grootscholten.fotki.com/plant-co ... ecios.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
User avatar
Carl_B
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:17 pm
Location: Isle of Wight, UK

Re: Epi phy, ho hum.

Post by Carl_B »

conaire wrote:Hello to you all.
I don't know if anyone can help.I would like to know if there is much difference between Epiphyllum/Disocactus ackermanii and Epiphyllum Red Sails.I think I have both but don't know which one is which .The stems are badly damaged as I left them outside too late in the year. Are the blooms similar on both?
Any assistance appreciated
Conaire.

There is a distinct difference but it won't be apparent until one or either blooms 'Ackermanii Hybridus' has small to medium sized mostly cup shaped dull red-orange flowers where as 'Red Sails' has large open blooms of bright red see here http://www.epikakteen.de/03%20epigaleri ... 0sails.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Post Reply