My friend, Steve Asbell, lives in Florida. Because of this, it's no surprise that Steve is a big fan of epiphytes - plants that grow on other plants or objects and get their nutrients from the air and rain. Some common epiphytes are orchids, Spanish moss and bromeliads. They use their roots to attach themselves to other plants. Steve is currently having an Epiphyte Blog Carnival, during which bloggers write about some of their favorite epiphytes.
A couple of years ago, I purchased an epiphyte from Logee's Greenhouse - the Ric-Rac Cactus, one of a group called orchid cacti. It's also known as the Fishbone Cactus and Zig Zag Cactus, but its botanical name is Epiphyllum anguliger. I've seen it listed as Cryptocereus anthonyanus, too, so I'm not sure which one is accepted currently. Either one is a mouthful!
|Ric-rac cactus, with Streptocarpus 'Party Doll', as I received them from Logee's.|
As is the case with many epiphytes, the Ric-Rac likes it dry. It also prefers smaller pots and to be somewhat rootbound. It should be grown in bright shade, although direct sun is okay too, provided it isn't too hot. Considered to be a tropical forest cactus, it hails from Mexico, where it grows naturally in deciduous oak forests. Being a cactus, there are spines, though you'll have to look closely to find them.
Check out Steve's blog, The Rainforest Garden, to see other favorite epiphytic plants.