Cactus


This species comes from Brazil and it is classed as a tropical/subtropical plant, but it can take low temperatures, down to 5°C, which has surprised me. It is also a plant that will flower in the winter; the pictures below were taken early February. It produces masses of white flowers with a red centre and they last a few days. Unlike some rhipsalis, it produces few berries. Perhaps it needs to be hand-pollinated as perhaps there are not enough insects in the greenhouse in the winter.
It is very easy to propagate by cuttings which need to be left for about a week to dry before being put in the soil or rooting medium. As you can see from the picture, it will grow into a fairly large plant, so give it some space. I grow it in shade and it does very well there; maybe it can take more sun, but I have not tried that yet.

Rhipsalis elliptica

Rhipsalis elliptica

Rhipsalis elliptica

Rhipsalis elliptica detail

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This is one of the new American hybrids and unlike the older hybrids, it requires more warmth in the winter, so is better suited for the living room. Do bear in mind, though, that they will grow quite large. It is not as free-flowering as many other Epiphylliums, but they are well worth waiting for. As with all Epiphyliums, they are easy to propagate and the cut leaves can be left lying around for weeks before potting them up without drying out. It is even possible that they produce roots before you pot them up. Flowers can be produced after 3 or 4 years and can vary slightly in colour.

 

Epiphyllium American Girl

Epiphyllium American Girl

This species was found by Carl Wercklé in Costa Rica. It also occurs in Columbia, Western Venezuela, Ecuador and Northern Peru. It can be found in altitudes up to 2100 mtrs. It is one of the forms, or is closely related to R. micrantha, all depending on which botanist you believe. The plant can reach a lenghth of about 1.5 metre. The flowers are small and white with a green base.
The plant is very easy to grow and propagate. It will take various conditions, from quite cool to quite warm (10-25°C) and it grows fairly quickly, giving a sizeable plant in a couple of years. They are best grown in hanging pots to give the leaves enough room to develop.

Lit.: Berger, A., Rhipsalis Wercklei Berger n. sp. in Monatsschrift für
Kakteenkunde
, vol. 16 (1906), p. 64—65

Rhipsalis wercklei

Rhipsalis wercklei

This is a very popular and easily recognisable species of Rhipsalis. The leaves look similar to a small Epiphyllium; there are distinctive spines on the edge of the leaves. In the spring it produces large – that is: large for a Rhipsalis – orange flowers. After flowering it produces pale pink berries. Synonyms: Rhipsalis monacantha, Lepismium monocanthum. As with all Rhipsalis, it is epiphytic, so keep it out of the full sun.

Acanthorhipsalis monacantha

Acanthorhipsalis monacantha

Acanthorhipsalis monacantha berries

Acanthorhipsalis monacantha berries

A new species on my list that comes from the Ilha Grande, an island north of the Seta Quedas Falls in the state of Parana, Brazil. Synonym: Rhipsalis teres var. heteroclada. As with most Rhipsalis, keep it out of full sun.

Rhipsalis heteroclada