- 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
- 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
- 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
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