Selenicereus anthonyanus was successfully introduced in Europe only in the 1950s, but in recent times it has had good success and has become much more common in nurseries and also in supermarkets. It is highly appreciated for its ease of cultivation and beautiful flowers; however, the aspect that distinguishes it is the very particular shape of the stems (zigzag or fishbone) that make it ornamental even in winter.
Description and origins
The Selenicereus or Cryptocereus Anthonyanus is an epiphytic cactus native to Mexico, more particularly of the rainforests of the Chapas, at about 800 meters above sea level. Like all epiphytes, it grows clinging, thanks to the aerial roots, to rocks and branches, and thrives in tropical or equatorial environments, characterized by a warm climate, strong diffused or direct light and a high rate of environmental humidity.
Its popular names (zigzag cactus, herringbone cactus) refer to the characteristic shape of its stems. These are a beautiful bright green and semi-detached, up to 75 cm long, flattened, with marked marginal incisions, up to 4.5 cm, and which lead to the formation of lobes. The areolas carry 2 to 4 light brown spines. Between spring and summer it produces trumpet flowers, up to 12 cm long, cream-white and with brick touches. They open during the night (hence the name, Selericereus, which means "moon candle") and give off a strong and characteristic sweet scent.