Epiphyllum Society of America

 

About ESA and Epiphyllum Culture
 
About the ESA
In 1940, epiphyllums were a relatively unknown species; were carried by only a few nurseries, expensive and collected by relatively few people. Hybridizing was being performed and the different Nurseries and individuals were naming new varieties. It was inevitable that the same name was sometimes given to more than one variety. On May 5,1940, a group of collectors and nursery people got together to form a rather exclusive group known as the Epiphyllum Society of America. A major purpose of this society was to generate an list of the various names, both to prevent the same name being used more than once and to generate a directory of which nursery had a particular variety. The names of some of the founders live on in still collected flowers such as 'Wegener Pet' and 'Pete's Snowflake'. The list has significant information and a large number of later registrations, and is known today as the Directory of Species and Hybrids. The listing of which nursery has what variety is no longer practical, so the next addition will be known as the Register of Species and Hybrids.
 
As the years passed, the ESA decided that the exclusive nature of the society no longer made sense, so it became a organization open to all who were interested in these beautiful and exotic flowers.
 
The most important event in the history of the Epiphyllum Society of America [ESA] took place at the end of July 1998. The International Society for Horticulture Science [ISHS] appointed the ESA the International Registration Authority [IRA] for the epiphytic cacti hybrids of the Hylocereeae Tribe. The appointment effectively legitimizes fifty-eight years of ESA work as de facto registrar.
 
Since most readers are probably not familiar with the concept of the IRA, here is a helpful quote from the Cultivated Plant Code. "The primary functions of an IRA are: (a.) To register cultivar and cultivar-group epithets in the denomination class for which they have accepted responsibility and to ensure their establishment; (b.) To publish full lists of all cultivar and cultivar-group epithets in that denomination class; (c.) To maintain records, in as great a detail as is practical, of the origin, characteristics and history of each cultivar and cultivar-group in that denomination class. It is NOT the function of an IRA: (a.) To conduct trials; (b.) To judge if one cultivar or cultivar-group is more meritorious or more useful than another; (c.) To judge distinctness of cultivars or cultivar-groups."
 
The Code provides guidelines for a system that works. The ESA appeals to reason to persuade everyone concerned to set aside personal preferences for the sake of the common good. The ESA's success as IRA is everyone's success. We are counting on the goodwill and wholehearted support of epi enthusiasts everywhere, and on your voluntary cooperation and compliance.
 
Epiphyllum Culture
"Epies" are easily grown from cuttings. Just follow these simple steps-
1. Apply root promoting hormone to the end to be planted.
2. Cure the cutting in a cool, dry, dark place for at least ten days to let a callus form over the cut.
3. When planting, hold the cutting in the empty pot with two or more areoles below the soil line. Add potting mix around the cutting till the cutting can stand on its own. Do not compress the mix.
4. WITHHOLD WATER for two weeks. (Optional - mist the cutting every few days. Don't soak the soil.) Begin watering gradually, and from then on, never let the mix become bone dry. Let water run out of the drain holes. Continue misting, if you choose. Though epies are members of the cactus family, their needs differ from those of desert cacti
  • LIGHT- No direct midday sun. 75% shade is preferable. Early morning or late afternoon sun is okay.
  • COLD - Protect epies from frost.
  • SOIL- Loose, fast draining & slightly acid, with 1/3 course material to resist compacting.
  • WATER- Keep roots moist but not soggy.
  • FERTILIZER - Avoid high nitrogen fertilizer. Use balanced plant food, (10-10-10), at half strength, monthly, beginning in June, or in June only if using time release type. In November use 0-10-10 to harden new growth, and again in February to stimulate budding. Do not fertilize in Winter.
  • FLOWERS bloom in a year or two, usually February through June for most varieties. Label cuttings by name. Put a name tag in your epi's pot so you'll know its name years from now. For more extensive culture information, see "Culture Tips", which are keyed to the season, in the Bulletin (i.e. the quartely newletter) of the ESA.

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This web page was last updated on: 6/21/05