Online Encyclopedia

PHYLLOCACTUS (fig. 3)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V04, Page 926 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PHYLLOCACTUS (fig. 3), the Leaf Cactus family, consists of about a dozen species, found in Central and tropical South America. Fin. 3.-Branch of Phyllocactus much reduced; the flowers are 6 in. or more in diameter. They differ from all the forms already noticed in being shrubby and epiphytal in habit, and in having the branches compressed and dilated so as to resemble thick fleshy leaves, with a strong median axis and rounded woody base. The margins of these leaf-like branches are more or less crenately notched, the notches representing buds, as do the spine-clusters in the spiny genera; and from these crenatures the large showy flowers are produced. As garden plants the Phyllocacti are amongst the most ornamental of the whole family, being of easy culture, free blooming and remarkably showy, the colour of the flowers ranging from rich crimson, through rose-pink to creamy white. Cuttings strike readily in spring before growth has commenced; they should be potted in 3-in. or 4-in. pots, well drained, in loamy soil made very porous by the admixture of finely broken crocks and sand, and placed in a temperature of 60°; when these pots are filled with roots they are to be shifted into larger ones, but overpotting must be avoided. During the summer they need considerable heat, all the light possible and plenty of air; in winter a temperature of 45° or 50° will be sufficient, and they must be kept tolerably dry at the root. By the spring they may have larger pots if required and should be kept in a hot and fairly moistened atmosphere; and by the end of June, when they have made new growth, they may be turned out under a south wall in the full sun, water being given only as required. In autumn they are to be returned to a cool house and wintered in a dry stove. The turning of them outdoors to ripen their growth is the surest way to obtain flowers, but they do not take on a free blooming habit until they have attained some age. They are often called Epiphyllum, which name is, however, properly restricted to the group next to be mentioned.
End of Article: PHYLLOCACTUS (fig. 3)
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PHYLLITE (Gr. 40)XAov, a leaf, probably because the...
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PHYLLOXERA (Gr. 4suXXov, leaf, and Erlpbs, dry)

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