Autor: Britton & Rose
“Similar to Rhipsalis”, referring to the superficial resemblance of this genus with Rhipsalis.
A genus of small epiphytic plants, usually multi branched and hanging (or semi erect and little branched in R. rosea), with usually flattened segments, but sometimes with 3 to 6 angles, truncate, often tinged with red, notched at the areoles; areoles marginal and apical, bearing tiny bristles. Spines absent. Flowers diurnal, self-sterile, appearing at the end of stems, funnel-shaped to bell-shaped, actinomorphic, pink or scarlet to intense red, pollinated by hummingbirds. Fruits globose or elongated, red. Seeds egg-shaped, shiny, smooth, brown.
The genus Rhipsalidopsis grows endemically, in the humid and mountainous forests of southern Brazil, epiphytically in trees, from 100 m up to approximately 2000 m in altitude. It is often found together with Schlumbergera. It is usually in cultivation under the name of “Easter cactus”, while Schlumbergera is named “Christmas Cactus”, because they commonly flower during these periods.
Brazil (Parana, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo).
Currently 2 recognised species:
– Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri* (Regel) Moran 1953
– Rhipsalidopsis rosea* (Lagerheim) Britton & Rose 1923
References: "TAXONOMY of the CACTACEAE" - ISBN 978-84-617-3692-8 (Vol. 2)