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Origin and Habitat: Organ Mountains, Brazil.
ENGLISH: Mistletoe Cactus, Jungle Cactus
Description: It is an epiphytic species, producing semi-trailing arching stems with flattened leaf-like joints, similar to Schlumbergera species up to 80 cm long.
Segments: Broad and flat, almost round or somewhat elongated 10 to 20 cm. long, 3-5 cm. broad or more, dull green becoming purplish when grown in sunlight, with broad deep reddish crenate (scalloped) margins.
Areoles: With scarce wool.
Flowers: Borne from the side areoles toward apex of branch, 1 to 3 from an areole, 16 to 18 mm. long, greenish, yellow or dull white, satiny; Petals 8 mm. long, ovate; Stamens white; Stigma-lobes 5, white.
Fruit: Naked, pinkish green, somewhat compressed, angled, truncate.
Rhipsalis platycarpa Photo by: Valentino Vallicelli
In winter the joints take a nice purple colour. Photo by: Valentino Vallicelli
Cultivation and Propagation: Easy to grow, tolerates neglect. This plant (as with all Rhipsalis) prefers partial shade, and requires ample summer water (more than other cacti), but allow soil to dry slightly between waterings;. These cacti won't want a normal cactus soil but will prefer to be in a soil largely composed of organic material, such as peat or sphagnum moss, This type of soil would normally be used for orchids, bromeliads or other epiphytic plants. These plants drop their buds easily if they are moved. Once flower buds have formed, DO NOT MOVE the plant, as slight changes in environment may cause the buds to drop. These forest cacti tend to be long lived.. Prefers nighttime temperatures no cooler than 5° C, especially in the winter. Protect from frost.
Propagation: Stem cuttings, Grafting (For grafting this plant Acanthocereus pentagonus is a good stock)
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