It looks like a zipper

by Thom Quayle
(Sacramento, Ca)

It has long drooping arms that look like a zipper. Much to my surprise, I found these large fragrant blooms this morning. I have had this plant for years and it has never bloomed. What is it?

Hi Thom, this is called The Rick Rack plant - if you've ever been around someone who sews you'll recognize this design as something used in sewing projects. It's real name is Cryptocereus anthonyanus, a tongue twister of a name which tells us a couple of things; it's related to several other similar plants such as Cereus, which is the night blooming Queen of the Night, and Epiphyllum, the Orchid Cactus, and also Schlumbergera, the Christmas Cactus.

These are all epiphytes, which originated growing on trees, and they typically have these fragrant, short lived but spectacular flowers. Congratulations; you must have just exactly the right conditions for it to be extremely happy.

Enjoy the flowers while they last, and hopefully you can trigger some blooms again next year.


Comments for It looks like a zipper

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 17, 2021
Not Cryptocereus anthonyanus. Its Epiphyllum anguliger.
by: cereusly steve

Not Cryptocereus anthonyanus. Its Epiphyllum anguliger. The flower typical for Epiphyllum should have been a clue. The flowers of Cryptocereus are completely different.

Oct 18, 2021
by: Jacki

Cereusly, I'm going to ban you from making any more comments if you can't keep a kind voice. This website is not meant for you to flaunt your incredible depth of knowledge and sarcasm. The tone of this site is educational, kind and instructive. Please continue to make comments along those lines, instead of being rude and mean. Thank you for your input, you obviously have a lot of knowledge and it's great that you want to share it so generously.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Succulent Identification Solved.