The Christmas Cactus that wasn't

Letter to the Editor

Several weeks ago, the Virden Empire-Advance ran a photo of a fuschia-coloured Christmas cactus blooming in our office.

That prompted Gerald Fichtemann of Estevan, Sask. to send us a letter and two photographs of his own cacti plants, which are NOT Christmas cacti and neither is ours, he pointed out:

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“Please be informed that the plant is not a Christmas Cactus as you stated. It is a member of the Epiphyllum family. Plant hybridizers have developed three different classes: Christmas Cactus, Easter Cactus and Thanksgiving Cactus.

“The plant you have is called the zygo-cactus, which blooms at Thanksgiving. Zygo-cactus is now available in white, cream, yellow, pink, rose, lavender, scarlet and orange.

“The zygo-cactus should not be moved or turned while blooming or in the bud stage as this will cause bud drop. Also fluctuating temperatures can cause the same problem.

“PS: I was the owner of River Bend Nursery in Estevan for 35 years.”

Gerald, even though the name zygo-cactus isn’t nearly as lovely as Christmas cactus, we thank you for the correction, the kind letter and beautiful photos of your “Thanksgiving” zygo-cacti.

© Virden Empire-Advance

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