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  Epiphyllum oxypetalum (DC.) Haw.
  Family Name : Cactaceae

  Synonyms : Epiphyllum grande, Epiphyllum acuminatum

  Common Names : Lady of the Night, Queen of the Night, Night blooming Cereus, Dutchman's-Pipe Cactus, Keng Hwa

  Chinese Name : 昙花, 琼花

 
Lady of the Night,Queen of the Night,Night blooming Cereus,Dutchman's-Pipe Cactus,Keng Hwa
  • Record Info
    • Featured in '1001 Garden Plants in Singapore' Book (2ed) :
      True
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Growth Form :
      Shrub
      Lifespan (in Singapore) :
      Perennial
      Maximum Height :
      0.8 m to 1.4 m
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
      Mexico to Brazil
      Native Habitat :
      Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest; Temperate Forest)
      Preferred Climate Zone :
      Tropical
      Local Conservation Status :
      Exotic (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      Growth Form: Epiphytic cactus that grows up to 6 m tall in the wild.
      Foliage: This species does not produce leaves. Instead, they produce modified stems that look like leaves and serve similar functions.
      Stems: Flattened stems are composed of a thick, round midrib surrounded by fleshy wings that have a scalloped edge.
      Flowers: Fragrant, star-shaped flowers (28 cm long, 13 cm wide) are composed of 25-30 white, linear petals. Flowers begin to open at 8-10PM, reach their maximum fullness at 12-3AM, and close before dawn. Flowering occurs infrequently, about 25 days after a significant drop in temperature. Flower buds are produced at the end of modified stems that look like leaves. They swell slightly several hours before blooming later at night.
      Habitat :
      Found growing high in the canopy in rainforests and temperate forests.
      Cultivation :
      Although it is a cactus, it prefers moist, but well-drained soil. The soil should not be allowed to dry out before re-watering.
      Etymology :
      The genus 'Epiphyllum' means 'upon the leaf' which refers to their epiphytic nature and growth within the forest canopy. The specific epithet 'oxypetalum' refers to the pointed petal tips.
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Flowers)
      Medicinal (In Taiwan, the flowers are harvested at night and dried the next day. The flowers are boiled in soup and thought to be good for the skin. It is said that the plant can be used to treat pulmonary tuberculosis with cough, hemoptysis, uterine bleeding, and pharyngitis.)
  • Landscaping Features
    • Desirable Plant Features :
      Ornamental Flowers, Fragrant (Flowers: Night)
      Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Well-Drained Soils
      Landscape Uses :
      Trellis / Arbour / Pergola, Interiorscape/ Indoor Plant
      Thematic Landscaping :
      Moonlight Garden
  • Fauna, Pollination & Dispersal
    • Associated Fauna :
      Moth Food Plant (Flower Nectar)
      Pollination Method(s) :
      Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Butterfly, Moth))
  • Plant Care & Propagation
    • Light Preference :
      Full Sun, Semi-Shade
      Water Preference :
      Moderate Water
      Maintenance Requirements :
      Low
      Propagation Method :
      Seed, Stem Cutting, Division
  • Foliar
    • Foliage Retention :
      Evergreen
      Mature Foliage Colour(s) :
      Green - Light Green
      Mature Foliage Texture(s) :
      Smooth, Powdery / Waxy Bloom, Leathery
      Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) :
      [Remarks] (Lighter green with glossy texture)
      Leaf Area Index (LAI) * for Green Plot Ratio :
      4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)
  • Floral (Angiosperm)
    • Flower & Plant Sexuality :
      Bisexual Flowers
      Flower Colour(s) :
      Pink, White
      FlowerTexture(s) :
      Smooth
      Flower Grouping :
      Solitary
      Flower Location :
      Terminal
      Flower Symmetry :
      Radial
      Flowering Opening Time :
      Night (dusk to dawn)
      Flower Lifespan On Plant :
      1 Night
      Flowering Habit :
      Polycarpic
  • References
The information given on this website has been compiled from reference works on medicinal plants and/or pron only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Reliance on this information is strictly at your own risk. You should always consult your physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.

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