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Epiphyllum oxypetalum (Dutchman's Pipe Cactus)


Scientific Name

Epiphyllum oxypetalum (DC.) Haw.

Common Names

Dutchman's Pipe Cactus, Queen of the Night, Orchid Cactus, Jungle Cactus, Night Blooming Cactus, Night Blooming Cereus


Cereus oxypetalus (basionym), Cereus latifrons, Epiphyllum acuminatum, Epiphyllum grande, Epiphyllum latifrons, Epiphyllum purpusii, Phyllocactus acuminatus, Phyllocactus grandis, Phyllocactus latifrons, Phyllocactus latifrons, Phyllocactus oxypetalus, Phyllocactus purpusii

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Hylocereeae
Genus: Epiphyllum


Epiphyllum oxypetalum is an erect or semi-erect, branching, epiphytic cactus up to 20 feet (6 m) tall with cylindrical stems, bearing elliptic, leaf-like, scalloped, dark green branches. The large, funnel-shaped, white flowers are up to 11 inches (28 cm) long and up to 5 inches (13 cm) wide. This fragrant, nocturnal bloom opens in the late evening and closes again at sunrise. The flowers are followed by small, up to 4 inches (10 cm) long, oblong, purplish-red, angled fruits.


USDA hardiness zone 11a to 11b: from 40 °F (+4.4 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Epiphyllum are often grown as houseplants as they are relatively trouble-free. From mid-spring until late summer, water the plants when the compost begins to dry out, but do not let the plants stand in water. Apply cactus fertiliser fortnightly. To encourage blooming, move Epiphyllum in winter into a cooler place, about 52-57°F (11-14°C) and keep the compost just moist until the flower buds form. Once this has happened, increase the temperature and resume the normal watering regime.

Epiphyllum cacti are prone to several common houseplant and greenhouse problems: mealybugs, aphids and glasshouse red spider mite.

The two most successful methods of propagation are by seed and cuttings. Sow seed in spring or summer… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Epiphyllum


Native to Central America and northern South America.


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