Zygocactus Aspen

Posted by T Brindley on

Aspen is the world's first frilly edged Zygocactus flower. Did you know it was named after Aspen in Colorado which is famous for it's snow. A rather fitting name don't you think.

Zygocactus Aspen with its frilly white petals. Zygocactus are Schlumbergera plants but are also known as Zygocactus, Christmas Cactus and Thanksgiving cactus.

Aspen belongs to a plant family now called Schlumbergera but in Australia they are still referred to under their old name of Zygocactus or plain old Zygos. 

The breeder is the famous BL Cobia of Florida USA who chemically induced a mutation of another one of their varieties called Bridgeport which has large rounded petals.

Zygocactus Aspen with frilly petals compared to Bridgeport with rounded petals. Both belong to the Schlumbergera family.

Breeding was undertaken in the USA in the late 1980's with the mutation stabilised and then vegatively propagated to build up numbers all from one leaf segment which are called phylloclades. It was released in the USA in the early mid 1990's and released by Brindley's Nurseries in Australia in 1994 where it created a lot of interest. Aspen still turns heads today.

Zygocactus Aspen also known as Schlumbergera, Christmas Cactus and Thanksgiving Cactus

As you can see Aspen has an upright growth habit which makes it ideal for pots and even large pots without the need to find hanging space in a basket. The leaves or phylloclades are thicker than most other zygocactus varieties and it is this extra strength that supports the weight of the branches with flowers and buds.

Schlumbergera variety Aspen flower cluster with frilly flowers

Have you noticed the flowers are partially pink. It is not a new variety is is simply the effect of sudden temperature drops a few days before the buds open. It is even possible to have a combination of white and pink frilly flowers if the temperature is fluctuating a few days before each bud opens.

Inspired by the sheer beauty of Aspen I have created a couple of greeting cards one as a photo and one as an A3 digital artwork or greeting card.

Aspen Zygocactus greeting card by Australian artist Tony Brindley and published by Cloud Publishing

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