Queen of the Night

Night Queen

When you think of a cactus, you might imagine a few prickly plants in a vast, sandy desert. But did you know that some cacti live in rainforests and are known as forest or jungle cacti? Jungle cacti are mostly native to tropical America. Many are epiphytes which live on another plant for mechanical support, but do not draw nutrients from them, while some are climbers with exposed aerial roots. 

Although jungle cacti grow in wet environments, they often experience periods of dryness, because their aerial roots cannot access soil moisture. Thus, they have waxy leafless stems that help to reduce water loss to the surrounding air. One example of a jungle cactus that is easy to grow in Singapore is Queen of the Night (Epiphyllum oxypetalum). It produces large, white flowers with a strong, sweet fragrance. 

Find out more about this plant here.

Photo credit: Boo Chih Min


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