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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 broad epiphytic spineless cactus to 6 feet wide with branching stems ho holding long arching flattened leaf-like pale green leaves, 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!). 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 duration. 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. This plant first bloomed there on January 2, 1954 Alexander described the plant 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 the Journal of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America 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 and even more recently the name Chiapasophyllum chrysocardium has been proposed but this name is listed as "unresolved" on The Plant List, the collaboration between the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew and Missouri Botanic Garden. Our original plant received from Takaya Nursery in Goleta, California in 1999.  The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens that we have observed it in. We also will incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that might aid others in growing Selenicereus chrysocardium.