Disocactus ackermanii Photos

Orchid Cactus in the Fern
Tuesday, June 6, 2006
Orchid Cactus in the Fern

This plant is getting huge! I love it! It sits high on a stack of clay pots and wooden planters in the corner of our yard. This is one of its "exploration" runners that it has sent off in search of rich soil or water (or in lieu of that possibly small farm animals).

The Orchid Cactus
Wednesday, February 9, 2005
The Orchid Cactus

Another in the "Photos I Grew Myself" series!

This plant is the reason I moved out of my previous home. The vertical bars in the photo are part of the railing on the patio of our old apartment. At the time of this photo this cactus had over sixty blossoms, each about three inches in diameter. Only a small part of the plant is actually in the picture. Our neighbors complemented us all the time on our plants.

Why did I have to move? The management of the property thought that the plants were a little disorderly hanging through the bars like this. So they wanted us to trim this one in particular.

Now we live in a much nicer place where my plants have a lot more room, and I was able to get a Basset Hound!

I have always loved Cacti, and this has got to be one of my favorite types. I have several of them, but this one is by far the happiest. I got it as a small start at the Santa Barbara Farmers' Market.

This Cactus is known as The Orchid Cactus, but the similarities between this beauty and the tropical flowers go much deeper than just the impressive blossoms. These Cacti are indigenous to the jungles of South and Central America where they live in the tree tops. Just like most orchids, they depend upon their host plant for access to the jungle canopy so they can reach sunlight, but they are not parasites. Their nutrition comes from decaying vegetation and other things trapped in the pockets of the trees where they live. This type of plant is called an epiphyte, as opposed to a parasite which draws nutrition directly from it's host. Orchids and Bromeliads are the most recognizable members of this group, but it includes a vast array of plants from ferns to mosses, and lichens.


This plant is a "day bloomer" hybrid, whose blooms last for several days. Most naturally occurring Epiphyllum species bloom only in the evening creating enormous fragrant white blossoms that only last for one night. I guess you have to do this when your "bee" is as big as a bird, only comes out at night, and is as blind as... well... a bat. Which, incidentally, is exactly what pollinates these plants in the wild, along with the occasional large moth.