Sunlight Stimulates Fishbone Cactus Bloom

October 08, 2019




Photographer: Menashe Davidson‏ 
Summary Author: Menashe Davidson‏ 

The Epiphyllum anguliger or Fish bone cactus is one of my favorite plants. Also known as the jungle cactus, since its indigenous to the tropical rainforests of Mexico, it takes advantage of neighboring trees to grow as a climbing plant. I thus decided to cultivate the jungle cactus as a climber in my garden and exposed it to direct sunlight several hours each day. If they’re grown in the shade with indirect light, the flowering is generally not very showy. Note in the photos above that there are plenty of flower buds on the outside of the climber, facing east (left in photos 1-2), while there are almost none on the inside (right in the same photos).

During their flowering stage these beautiful flowers open at night and last only one night. This phenomenon contributes to another of its names, "Queen of the Night." Note that not all of the flowers bloom in one night, but every bud that opens its petals on a given night closes its petals by the next morning and begins to wilt. All pictures were taken in my home garden near Rishon LeZion, Israel, on May 25, 2019.