"Enigma" and "Star Burst",







Schlumbergera "Enigma"


Schlumbergera "Star Burst"


Page 6



Schlumbergera "Enigma"


Schlumbergera "Enigma": stems and flowers.

(by courtesy of Eckhard Meier)

This Schlumbergera was the subject of an article written by Eckhard Meier in [Kakteen und anderen Succulenten 1998(4)].

As the author of the article says and as I also think, the word "Enigma" is the ideal word for the name of this Schlumbergera.

The shape of the flowers is random, and from one year to the next you cannot predict the shape of the flowers you will observe. Some years the flowers remain a few millimetres in size, vaguely resembling Rhipsalis flowers, while sometimes, (this is the case on these photos), it is a real firework of pollen-free stamens several (2 to 3) centimetres long with possibly a few narrow pink petals. There's never a pistil. The plant is therefore sterile on both the male and female sides.

In any case, the flower doesn't look anything like a Schlumbergera flower.

Only the appearance of its stems and the flowering period can lead to its classification in the genus Schlumbergera.


But what is the origin of Schlumbergera "Enigma"?

Schlumbergera "Enigma" comes to us from the United States.

Everything suggests that it is really a Schlumbergera. The only other hypothesis would be that of a cross between two different genera: Hatbergera and Schlumbergera.
This would make the plant a "x Hatbergera".

There is only one documented "x Hatbergera" that has bloomed. It was documented by Thomas Boyle

[Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 2003 128/5]

Reading the article shows that obtaining hybrids has been difficult and that only one of these hybrids has bloomed (sparingly).

All other "x Hatbergera" that can be found are only presumed "x Hatbergera" until proven otherwise.

One could also think of a virally infected plant, but the most likely hypothesis seems to be that of a mutation (or a monstrous form) of a Schlumbergera.

It remains to be seen how this mutation came about: "naturally" or artificially by chemical or irradiation methods. The question is open.

So the enigma is complete.




Schlumbergera "Enigma" : flowers.




Schlumbergera "Star Burst"


Schlumbergera "Star Burst" would be from Japan.

I had talked about it on this site a few years ago under the erroneous name "Stardust" which refers to another Schlumbergera. The wrong pages are still online.

Getting back to the Schlumbergera we're dealing with, it has actinomorphic flower buds with angular ovaries. They look a bit like buds of Rhipsalidopsis (formerly Hatiora), but as the following photo shows, the stems are in contradiction with the genus Rhipsalidopsis and look like stems of Schlumbergera.


Schlumbergera "Star Burst" : flower buds at the beginning of opening.

The flower buds have a certain resemblance to those of the "Thor Wild Cactus".

I note this without drawing a taxonomic conclusion.


Schlumbergera "Star Burst" : open flowers.


This is the plant with the blooming flowers. The stamens have no pollen, which makes the plant sterile.

The stems are shaped like Schlumbergera stems and the flowers are slightly zygomorphic.

These two reasons, as well as the flowering period, favour the classification of the plant in the genus Schlumbergera.

It can therefore be assumed, as with Schlumbergera "Enigma", that Schlumbergera "Star Burst" is a mutation of an unrelated origin of a Schlumbergera .

As with "Enigma", the hypotheses of the virus-infected plant or the "x Hatbergera" cross remain open.

A few years ago, I had talked on this website about "x Hatbergera" (seller's indication), but Boyle's article about the only documented "x Hatbergera" leaves me doubtful.

The two plants on this page have (and this is certain) the advantage of beautiful and unusual flowering.


END of this article.