Jungle Cacti is a broad term, or name used for a group of plants, belonging to the family of plants known as epiphytes.
An epiphyte is a plant, which in its natural environment, usually lives and grows upon another plant for support. They are not parasitic in that they do not feed upon the host plant, but rely upon decaying leaf or organic matter, either deposited from the rainforest canopy or wind and waterborne deposits.
Most of these plants are usually found high in the canopy, having been either wind blown as seeds or deposited by birds, which feed upon the fruit of these plants and deposit the seed by droppings.
Jungle cacti all crave light which can sometimes be hard to find in a rainforest location, they usually grow well in shaded positions, but most really excel in shaded but high light positions with flowering and fruiting usually dependant on well lit locations.
A large percentage of these fare well indoors in positions of reasonably high light with once again, flowering dependant upon a naturally well lit position such as a window table or atrium.
The Jungle cacti I have chosen to collect, are mainly originally natives of the Central Americas, an area ranging from Mexico through to Peru, with a few from Madagascar, Sri Lanka etc. also Hoyas from the Pacific and South-East Asian region including Australia.
They include, Aporocactus, Disocactus, Epiphyllum Species, Epicactus Hybrids, Hatiora, Hoya, Lepismium, Rhipsalis, Selenicereus, Zygocactus and others.
The Epiphyllum plants originally collected from the rainforests of these areas, along with other 'epiphytic cacti' are considered species plants, these plants have been hybridised over many years now to have a large following by collectors and growers and are known as 'epie' hybrids or epicacti,
ranging to several thousand varieties, the blooms of which are beyond parallel in the plant world.
Although having a period of high temperatures for a couple of months in summer, with periods of high rainfall and humidity within this period, I have found the climate in South-East Queensland to be highly conducive in the growing of these plants, the mild winter is a benefit in that the normal dormancy, or slow down period is hardly noticeable, with growth all year round and high rates during the usual spring and summer growth cycle.
I will endeavour to post a 'Whats Blooming' update weekly as although a lot of these plants flower in Spring, there is usually an ongoing parade of blooms and fruit throughout the year, as quite a few of the
Rhipsalis and Lepismiums flower throughout the winter, with several of these species blooming multiple times annually.
My collection is ongoing in that I am adding plants as they become available and as they mature, I will do my best to keep the list up to date as and when stock is added or deleted.
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