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Tropical Forest Cacti

hywel

By hywel

31 comments


Here are some examples of cacti that don’t live in deserts.
They grow in tropical forests, as epiphytes on trees and in rock crevaces.

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The most commonly known one is probably Schlumbergera truncata,
Popularly called “Christmas Cactus” ….

It grows on the coastal hills of south eastern Brazil, where you find tropical moist forests.

Most of the ones grown as houseplants today, are hybrids …

It has flat jointed stems :-

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Here’s another type of Schlumbergera, –
Schlumbergera gaertneri.

Like its cousin, it grows in the tropical rain forests of south east Brazil.

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Rhipsalis nerves-armondii :-

It’s another epiphytic cactus from tropical south east Brazil,
around Rio de Janeiro ….
and it gets these tiny white cactus flowers in the spring :-

There are several species of Rhipsalis. They’re interesting plants.

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Aporocactus flagelliformis :-

It grows as an epiphyte on trees in the forests of Mexico, and has bright pink flowers …

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Yet another epiphytic cactus growing in forests is Selenicereus.
It’s a night flowering cactus ….

It is found climbing on trees and over rocks in the Caribbean area, and Mexico ….

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Epiphyllums are another type of epiphytic cactus found in tropical forests from southern Mexico, through Venezuela, Colombia, to Brazil …

The ones grown today in collections, are mainly hybrids.

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And now, maybe the strangest cactus of all …

Yes … it’s a cactus :o)
and it’s called Pereskia.

These are primitive cacti, and grow as climbing shrubs.

The flowers have the same arrangement of petals, stamens etc as a desert cactus …
therefore they belong to the Cactaceae family.

They also have leaves like all the ancestors of cacti used to have, before they evolved into the spiney things they are today.

… and if you look closely at the stems, you will see the characteristic areoles, with their spines.

There are several species of Pereskias, and they are found living in the region between Brazil and Mexico.

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I haven’t got any of the last three types, so I copied the photos from places which allowed it.
However, I did once have a few epiphyllums, but they died …. and I intend to get some replacements this year :o)

More blog posts by hywel

Previous post: Cactus Care Blog

Next post: Snowdrops and Views



Comments

 

Nice pic's Hywel.I like that Apricot coloured Christmas Cactus.....very unusual!

22 Feb, 2013

 

What a wonderful blog, very educational too, and full of fabulous photographs! I used to grow cacti, but I tend to get bored with them when they're not in flower. Then I got some kind of mites on them and they looked a mess so I got rid of them:(

22 Feb, 2013

 

Hywel you've opened my eyes.....again.....those christmas cactus, the colours are so lovely, the golden, and the pure white.
And the epiphytes, fascinating, especially those with leaves
Thanks x

22 Feb, 2013

 

I've seen lots of those epiphyte type growing in the Philippines Hywel. We have a family friend who owns her own nursery and her GC is full of them - growing on the trees, branches and rocks etc. The colours are amazing!

22 Feb, 2013

 

I remember seeing the epiphyte type growing in a jungle setting in the Princess of Wales Conservatory at Kew.
It was fabulous, all steamy.
Just in passing I think Beryl is very fortunate to have such an excellent gardener on the premises.
We all envy her.

22 Feb, 2013

 

lovely flowers - nice structures too Hywel

22 Feb, 2013

 

Thank you all for your comments :o)

Louisa I don't know why you think cacti are boring when not in flower - they have so many fascinating shapes and sizes.
Now if you said roses are boring when not in flower, I would agree with you :o)

22 Feb, 2013

 

love all plants - all have a place :))

22 Feb, 2013

 

Sorry Hywel, I didn't mean to insult your favourite plants, I think it's that I'm too impatient and when they're not in flower they don't change much, but you're right of course, the variety of shape and form is fascinating. Probably my total failure to keep them alive and in good shape for long colours my view of them too!

22 Feb, 2013

 

Please don't worry about it. I tend to get rather defensive about cacti. They do grow rather slowly though, so I can understand people might get a bit fed up with them lol ... well we all like different things :o)

22 Feb, 2013

 

Its very wonderful kind of cactus , all my life i never see this kinds of cactus , but very thankful for you Hywel, you share this amazing photos :-))))))))))))

23 Feb, 2013

 

Thank you Junna :o)

23 Feb, 2013

 

Pereskia will be my favourite from now on. It is difficult to better the originals as these show. I still won't choose them as plants to grow because I am too neclectful of plants indoors. Sadly in spite of my good intentions the last of my poinsettia gave up the ghost this week.

24 Feb, 2013

 

So would it have been better for humans to have remained as apes ? ... if the 'originals' are better, you must think it would.
Also all the hybrids we grow in our gardens, and the new varieties of more desease resistant plants etc. ... I assume you would rather stick with the old ones.

Everything moves on, and adapts to it's environment. If it didn't, it would die out.
I like desert cacti. They show how wonderful nature can be, by being able to withstand such adverse conditions :o)

24 Feb, 2013

 

Lol Hywel you've got me there. Hybrids are okay up to a point but when it comes to the point that the hybrids won't give viable seed it worries me.

24 Feb, 2013

 

Hello Hywel... thanks for this blog :o)

24 Feb, 2013

 

We humans have bread the hybrids. The naturally evolved species are not usually hybrids, and if they are, they die out. Nature is constantly trying to find ways of surviving.

I think it's all moving forward and continually evolving. The ancestors had their own ancestors even further back in time, ... and present plants and animals are the ancestors of future species not yet evolved.
Humans are only at the top for the moment, until something better evolves. Who is to say what's going to happen in the future.

24 Feb, 2013

 

Thank you TT :o) Our comments must have crossed each other ...

24 Feb, 2013

 

Lovely blog Hywel. Those white Christmas cacti are breathtaking. didn't you say last year you had lost all yours in the winter? If these are all new ones you have had a grand shopping spree! (If a bit falls of one of the white ones you know who would appreciate it!)

24 Feb, 2013

 

Thank you Steragram.
The white Christmas cactus is new. I bought it in December. I'll send you a cutting.
All the others are gone. I used old photos to do the blog because someone asked me to write about these cacti. I didn't see anything wrong in using old photos to illustrate the blog :o)

I've still got the Aporocactus and Rhipsalis if you'd like some of those also ...

25 Feb, 2013

 

Fantastic thank you. Have you still got my address? I haven't got anywhere to put the "rats tail" type as our conservatory roof is the wrong sort to put screws in, so no use me trying those. I used to have a nice little rhipsalidopsis, which I think my sister still has - shall I ask her to send you a piece? Did the cuttings I sent you take? You might get a flower this autumn if you are lucky!
It must have been totally heartbreaking to lose all those - I didn't know at the time what a lovely collection you had.

25 Feb, 2013

 

Hywel - you should write a book. I have so enjoyed your cactus blogs. These pictures are lovely - such beautiful plants. Thank you.

25 Feb, 2013

 

Thank you both :o)

Steragram, Could you remind me of your address in a PM.
Yes the cuttings have caught, and also the Epiphyllum has caught. A friend has also given me some cuttings, and I am hoping to get a few flowers later in the year.
Yes I would like a cutting of your sister's Rhipsalidopsis if she doesn't mind. Thank you.

25 Feb, 2013

 

So beautiful love those flowers, have grown some years ago, but not now, very interesting blog thanks Hywel...

26 Feb, 2013

 

Thank you :o)

26 Feb, 2013

 

I learnt a lot from this blog and loved the wonderful vivid colours. I thought the Pereskia was a camelia when I first saw it, it is beautiful.

28 Feb, 2013

 

Thank you :o)

28 Feb, 2013

 

Your new avatar is very snazzy, Hywel! And happy St David's Day to you and Beryl! Have you any daffodils out yet? Mine are temptingly close, but I still think it'll be a week or so before they show.

1 Mar, 2013

 

Thank you. My avatar is only for St david's day ... it's St David's flag.
I have a few mineature daffs in a pot.

1 Mar, 2013

 

I thought it was St David's flag. I have a few miniature daffs out in my borders. They always appear before the bigger ones. I'm glad I didn't have to wait as long as I thought I would.

4 Mar, 2013

 

I have a couple of struggling epis, Hywel... could send you some dry cuttings if you like?

3 Jul, 2013

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