Autor: Gaertner

≪Belonging to wickerwork≫, the genus being reminiscent of woven basketry work because of the entangled flexible, reed-like stems of most species.
A genus of usually epiphytic, sometimes epilithic plants, with pendulous stems, sometimes deciduous, segmented, acrotonic (definite growth) or mesotonic according to species, very variable, cylindrical, ribbed, angled, winged or flattened, with adventitious roots. Terminal areoles present or absent according to species. Spines present in some taxa at the juvenile stage (R. dissimilis), exceptional (R. pilocarpo subsp. horrida), otherwise absent.
Flowers diurnal, usually small, rotate, white to creamy-white (exceptionally intense red in R. hoelleri), pollinated by small insects, probably hymenoptera, but there do not seem to be specific observations on the subject, and lepidoptera as well as diptera could also be potential pollinators. Fruits usually naked, more or less spherical, berry-like. Seeds elongated, brown to black, more or less egg-shaped, shiny, retaining an envelope of mucilage. Dispersal of seeds ensured by birds and small primates.
The genus Rhipsalis has, through R. baccifera, the largest geographic distribution of all the family, located in the tropics not only in South America (except Chile), but also reaching Southeast Asia and Africa, and grows epiphytically, pendulous, in the hollows of trees, in ombrophilous forests, together with other epiphytic plants (orchids and bromeliads), on other cacti, (like the columnar Browningia microsperma), also on rocks, from sea level up to 2650 m in altitude. It is sometimes found in swampy areas, clinging on trunks of trees (Pachira aquatica) and mangroves (Rhizophora mangle), for example in southern Mexico in Yucatan.
Angola, Antilles, Argentina (Catamarca, Corrientes, Entre Rios, Jujuy, Misiones, Salta, Tucuman), Belize, Benin? Bolivia (Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, La Paz, Santa Cruz, Tarija), Brazil (Bahia, Espirito Santo, Goias, Mato Grosso, Minas Gerais, Parana, Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo, Sergipe), Burundi, Cameroon, Colombia (Quindio, Tolima), Comoros Islands, Costa Rica (Alajuela, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas, San Jose), Cuba (Cienfuegos), Ecuador (Azuay, Chimborazo, El Oro, Guayas, Loja, Manabi), Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala (Alta Verapaz, Escuintla, Huehuetenango, Izabal, Peten, Quetzaltenango, Quiche, Retalhuleu, San Marcos, Santa Rosa, Suchitepequez), Guyana, French Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Ivory Coast, Mascarene Islands, Mauritius, Jamaica, Kenya, Reunion, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mexico (Chiapas, Hidalgo, Oaxaca, Puebla, San Luis Potosi, Tamaulipas, Veracruz), Mozambique, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay (Alto Paraguay, Alto Parana, Amambay, Caaguazu, Caazapa, Canindeyu, Central, Concepcion, Cordillera, Guaira, Itapua, Paraguari, Presidente Hayes, San Pedro), Peru (Amazonas, Cajamarca, Cuzco, Huanuco, Junin, La Libertad, Moquegua, Piura, San Martin), Puerto Rico, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, Rwanda, Seychelles (Mahe), Sierra Leone, South Africa (Transvaal), Sri Lanka, Surinam, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Uruguay (Artigas, Rio Negro, Rivera, Tacuarembo), USA (Florida), Venezuela (Aragua, Carabobo, DF, Miranda, Sucre, Yaracuy), Zaire, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Currently 43 recognised species + 11 subspecies:
– Rhipsalis agudoensis* n.p. Taylor 2003
– Rhipsalis alboareolata Ritter 1979
– Rhipsalis aurea M.F.Freitas & J.M.A.Braga 2009
– Rhipsalis baccifera* (J.S.Mill.) Stearn 1939
– Rhipsalis baccifera subsp. erythrocarpa* (Schumann) Barthlott 1987
– Rhipsalis baccifera subsp. horrida* (Baker) Barthlott 1987
– Rhipsalis baccifera subsp. mauritiana* (DC.) Barthlott 1987
– Rhipsalis burchellii* Britton & Rose 1923
– Rhipsalis campos-portoana* Loefgren 1918
– Rhipsalis cereoides* (Backeberg & Voli) Backeb. 1937
– Rhipsalis cereuscula* Haworth 1830
– Rhipsalis clavata* F.A.C. Weber 1892
– Rhipsalis crispata* Pfeiffer 1837
– Rhipsalis crispimarginata Loefgren 1917
– Rhipsalis cuneata* Britton & Rose 1923 (= R. occidentalis Barthlott & Rauh 1987)
– Rhipsalis dissimilis* (Lindberg.) K.Schumann 1890
– Rhipsalis elliptica* G .Lindberg ex K.Schumann 1890
– Rhipsalis ewaldiana* Barthlott & N.P.Taylor 1995
– Rhipsalis flagelliformis N.P. Taylor & Zappi 2014
– Rhipsalis fioccosa* Pfeiffer 1837
– Rhipsalis fioccosa subsp. hohenauensis* (F.Ritter) Barthlott & Taylor 1995
– Rhipsalis fioccosa subsp. oreophila* N.P. Taylor & Zappi 1998
– Rhipsalis fioccosa subsp. pittieri* (Britton & Rose) Barthlott & N.P.Taylor 1995
– Rhipsalis fioccosa subsp. pulvinigera* (G.Lindberg) Barthlott & Taylor 1995
– Rhipsalis fioccosa subsp. tucumanensis* (F.A.C.Weber) Barthlott & Taylor 1995
– Rhipsalis goebeliana* Backeberg 1957
– Rhipsalis grandiflora* Haworth 1819
– Rhipsalis hileiabaiana* (Taylor & Barthlott) Koro & Barthlott 2011
– Rhipsalis hoelleri* Barthlott & Taylor 1995
– Rhipsalis juengeri* Barthlott & Taylor 1995
– Rhipsalis lindbergiana* K.Schumann 1890
– Rhipsalis mesembryanthemoides* Haworth 1821
– Rhipsalis micrantha* (Kunth) DC. 1823 (not Lymanbensonia micrantha)
– Rhipsalis micrantha subsp. rauhiorum* (Barthlott) Calvente 2010
– Rhipsalis neves-armondii* K.Schumann 1890
– Rhipsalis oblonga* Loefgren 1918
– Rhipsalis occidentalis* Barthlott 1987
– Rhipsalis olivifera* N.P.Taylor & Zappi 1997
– Rhipsalis ormindoi N.P. Taylor & Zappi 1997
– Rhipsalis pacheco-leonis* Loefgren 1918
– Rhipsalis pacheco-leonis subsp. catenulata* (Kimnach) Barthlott & N.P.Taylor 1995
– Rhipsalis pachyptera* Pfeiffer 1837
– Rhipsalis paradoxa* (Pfeiffer) Salm-Dyck 1850
– Rhipsalis paradoxa subsp. septentrionalis* Barthlott & N.P.Taylor 1995
– Rhipsalis pentaptera* A.Dietrich 1836
– Rhipsalis pilocarpo* Loefgren 1903
– Rhipsalis pulchra* Loefgren 1915
– Rhipsalis puniceodiscus* G.Lindberg 1893
– Rhipsalis russellii* Britton & Rose 1923
– Rhipsalis shaferi* Britton & Rose 1923
– Rhipsalis sulcata* F.A.C. Weber 1898
– Rhipsalis teres* (Vellozo) Steudel 1841
– Rhipsalis triangularis Werdermann 1937
– Rhipsalis trigona* Pfeiffer 1837

References: "TAXONOMY of the CACTACEAE" -  ISBN 978-84-617-3692-8 (Vol. 2)