Rhipsalis ramulosa, a splendid name for this spectacular plant which was growing in the Leu green house and I just had to beg one slender leaf to draw. It is such a great shape and the colour shades up the “leaf” (the leaves are really stems) from pale green to dark red. The little fruits are pale pinky cream and would have been preceded by small white flowers.
Rhipsalis are primarily epiphytic (meaning they live in trees), but some are lithophytic (that is growing in the cracks of rocks). In its full glory its cascades from trees and rocks, its flattened stems branching over and over again. Think of the Christmas cactus (shrimp plant) we know so well in the UK.
There are just under 40 species and most occur in Brazil. A few are found more widespread in South America up into Central America, the Caribbean, and one species as far as Madagascar and Sri Lanka making Rhipsalis the only member of the Cactus Family that occurs naturally in the “Old World”.
image from Toptropicals.com.
Here in Florida I am seeing more and more cacti and I am finding them more and more interesting. One of my favourite gardens at Leu is the arid garden which is at the moment fragrant with frangipani blossom and splendid with gorgeous coral trees and many different species of Cacti. Rather than those sad dry and dusty things that struggle to exist is UK living rooms, these are gorgeous showy things. More to come.