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Products > Selenicereus chrysocardium
Selenicereus chrysocardium - Golden Heart Epiphyllum

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Cactaceae (Cactus)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Infrequent
Synonyms: [Epiphyllum chrysocardium, Chiapasophyllum]
Height: 1-3 feet
Width: 4-6 feet
Exposure: Light Shade/Part Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Selenicereus chrysocardium (Golden Heart Epiphyllum) - A large broad growing epiphytic spineless cactus to 6 feet or more wide with branching stems holding long arching flattened leaf-like pale green flattened stems, technically called cladodes, that have rounded lobes in a zig zag pattern - incredibly interesting looking! It can produce huge white flowers with long golden stamen filaments but it is pretty shy blooming, so don't expect to see these often (or at all) when grown outdoors in California. Plant in bright high shade or morning sun and irrigate occasionally - surprisingly little water required considering its tropical origins. Has proven hardy in our garden to below freezing temperatures for short durations. Under the protection of trees it was not damaged in the January 2007 freezes with 3 nights down to 25F. An attractive and interesting tropical looking plant for a large raised planter or container, a large hanging basket, or planted in a tree crotch as an epiphyte. The type specimen was collected on February 9, 1951 in a tropical rainforest in the Selva Negra region of Chiapas by the Scottish botanist and explorer of southern Mexico, Thomas MacDougall. MacDougall got the plant to Edward Johnston Alexander, curator at the New York Botanic Garden and this plant first bloomed there on January 2, 1954. Alexander described the plant as a species of Epiphyllum with the specific epithet chrysocardium, meaning "gold heart" for the attractive golden stamen filaments set inside the middle of the white flower. He published this description in the January-February 1956 issue of Journal of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America , though the first actual mention of what was then tentatively called "Epiphyllum of Blanca Rosa" was in the November-December 1953 issue of this same journal in an article by Thomas MacDougall titled "In the Wetlands of Northern Chiapas". In 2003 Myron Kimnach, the Director of the Huntington Botanic Garden from 1962 until 1986, reassigned this plant to the genus Selenicereus. The name Chiapasophyllum chrysocardium has been proposed for this plant as well but some botanical name databases, such as Kew's Plants of the World Online, continue to list this plant under its original name Epiphyllum chrysocardium. Our original plant received from Takaya Nursery in Goleta, California in 1999.  The information on this webpage is based on research conducted about this plant in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of it as it grows in the nursery in containers, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it growing. We will also incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing  Selenicereus chrysocardium.