Schlumbergera opuntioides

Schlumbergera opuntioides

Scientific Name

Schlumbergera opuntioides (Loefgr. & Dusén) D.R.Hunt

Synonyms

Epiphyllanthus obovatus, Epiphyllanthus opuntioides, Epiphyllum opuntioides, Zygocactus opuntioides

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Rhipsalideae
Genus: Schlumbergera

Description

Schlumbergera opuntioides is a rare cactus with leafless, green stems made up of distinct segments. The stems look like those of an Opuntia. Young segments may be relatively flat, up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) long, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) wide, and up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) thick. They become more cylinder-shaped as they age, as well as becoming woodier. The plant may form a shrub up to 4 feet (1.2 m) tall. Flowers are pink to purple, up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) long, and up to 1.8 inches (4.5 cm) in diameter.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11b: from 35 °F (+1.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

These plants are easy to grow and are often passed down through the generations. With Holiday Cactus, the million-dollar question isn't how to grow it but how to make it bloom. With a little extra attention during the fall months, you can have your plants blooming for the holidays. Don't expose these plants to freezing temperatures! Despite their love of cooler temperatures, they are still tropical plants that won't withstand freezing conditions. They like about 50% to 60% humidity, which can be achieved using a pebble tray. Never place your Holiday Cactus near a heat register, exterior door, or drafty window, and keep it out of burning sunlight.

Don't fall into the trap of constantly repotting into a bigger pot. Holiday Cactus likes to be root-bound, and repotting every 2 to 3 years (even back into the same pot) is plenty. If you repot, use sterile, well-draining potting soil.

Holiday Cactus can easily be propagated by cuttings. Pinch off a section of stem that has 2 to 3 jointed segments. Let the cuttings dry for a few hours, then push them in a small pot with the same potting soil as the adult plant.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for a Holiday Cactus.

Origin

Schlumbergera opuntioides is endemic to the coastal mountains of south-eastern Brazil, where its natural habitats are humid forests and rocky areas.

Links

  • Back to genus Schlumbergera
  • Succulentopedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus

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Taxonomy [ edit ]

The specific epithet opuntioides means "like Opuntia", referring to the appearance of the stems.

The species was first described by in 1897 by Engelmann, but given only a provisional name, Epiphyllum obovatum. This was taken up by Britton and Rose in 1923, when they transferred the species to Epiphyllanthus. However the species was not named properly according to the rules of botanical nomenclature until Löfgren and Dusén did so in 1905, creating the name Epiphyllum opuntioides. As with many other species of the genus (see Schlumbergera: Taxonomy), other generic names were used afterwards: Zygocactus (Löfgren in 1918), Epiphyllanthus (Moran in 1953) and finally Schlumbergera (David Hunt in 1969). [4]

Thus the synonyms of S. opuntioides (Loefgr. & Dusén) D.R.Hunt include: [4]

Epiphyllum obovatum Engelm. ex K.Schum., nom. prov. Epiphyllanthus obovatus (Engelm. ex K.Schum.) Britton & Rose Epiphyllum opuntioides Loefgr. & Dusén Zygocactus opuntioides (Loefgr. & Dusén) Loefgr. Epiphyllanthus opuntioides (Loefgr. & Dusén) Moran


Schlumbergera opuntioides – Cactus Plants

Schlumbergera opuntioides is an ornamental, flowering plant and a species of plant in the Cactaceae family. It has leafless green stems, made up of distinct segments, which act as photosynthetic organs. However, most other species have stems which are consistently strongly flattened, whereas in S. opuntioides, although young segments may be relatively flat, being 7 cm long by 1.2 inches wide, but only up to 9 mm thick, the segments become more cylinder-shaped as they age, as well as becoming woodier. The plant may form a shrub up to 4 feet tall. The blooms are pink to purple in color, up to 6 cm long and up to 4.5 cm in diameter. The fruit is green, more or less spherical with four to five ribs. The brown to black seeds are about 1.75 mm long.

Scientific classification:

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Genus: Schlumbergera
Species: S. opuntioides

Scientific Name: Schlumbergera opuntioides
Synonyms: Epiphyllanthus obovatus, Epiphyllanthus opuntioides, Epiphyllum opuntioides, Zygocactus opuntioides.

How to grow and maintain Schlumbergera opuntioides:

Light:
It thrives best in the bright, but indirect light. Direct sunlight should be avoided, as it can cause brown spots.

Soil:
It prefers to grow in neutral, Well-drained soil. Use a mixture of 1 part potting soil and 1 part fine-grade fir bark.

Temperature:
To set flower buds, the plant needs cool 60-65°F/16-18°C days and 45°F-55°F/7-13°C nights. Once buds set, 70°F-75°F/21-24°C days and 60°F-70°F/16-21°C nights. Plant death can occur at below 50°F (10°C).

Water:
Water regularly, keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. After flowering, water sparingly until new growth begins in spring.

Fertilizer:
Fertilize every two weeks with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half. After blooms have dropped, stop fertilizing for a month.

Propagation:
It can be easily propagated by stem cuttings. Take stem cuttings from one to four segments. Allow the cut ends to dry for 24 hours before placing upright in moist perlite. Rooting occurs between 3-4 weeks. It is rarely propagated by seed, sow seeds in the spring.

Repotting:
Re-pot every year or every 2 years in the mid-summer. Never re-pot during the bloom or following resting period. Re-pot by removing only the loose soil around the roots. Transfer immediately to a wider pot.

Pests and Diseases:
It has no serious pest or disease problems. Watch for spider mites, mealybugs, and fungus. Add an insecticide to the water 2 to 3 times a year to combat pests as well as a systemic fungicide to prevent the orange and brown spotting that sometimes affects them.


Schlumbergera or Christmas cactus is quite easy but here are the tips that will help you make it last.

Exposure

Schlumbergera requires strong light but shrivels up in direct sun when it is placed behind a window.

In summer, it’s possible to place your schlumbergera outdoors, in a shaded and sheltered spot of your terrace, deck or garden.

  • Since the flowers are very fragile, you must never move it around once the first flower buds have appeared.

Watering schlumbergera

Watering is on a regular but moderate basis during the growth and/or blooming season.

  • Let the soil mix dry up before watering anew.
  • Especially, never let water stagnate at the bottom of the pot.
  • Adding special cactus fertilizer every two weeks from October to January will increase the blooming.

Repotting

To keep your schlumbergera from one year to the next, it is advised to repot it after the blooming, at least every 2 or 3 years.

  • The new container must be just one size larger but no more than that because schlumbergera likes a tight fit.

Pruning schlumbergera

For the foliage to stay dense and the bearing compact, it’s possible to pinch stems after blooming.


Schlumbergera opuntioides resembles other species of the genus Schlumbergera in that it has leafless green stems, made up of distinct segments, which act as photosynthetic organs. However, most other species have stems which are consistently strongly flattened, whereas in S. opuntioides, although young segments may be relatively flat, being 1.5–7.0 cm (0.6–2.8 in) long by 0.5–3.0 cm (0.2–1.2 in) wide, but only up to 9 mm (0.4 in) thick, the segments become more cylinder-shaped as they age, as well as becoming more woody. The plant may form a shrub up to 1.2 m (4 ft) tall. [2]

Special structures characteristic of cacti, called "areoles", occur in a roughly spiral fashion on the segments most young segments have many areoles but a few have only a small number. The areoles, which normally have bristles which become stiffer with age, are where the flower buds appear. The flowers are held so that they are more or less horizontal the upper side is different from the lower side (bilaterally symmetrical or zygomorphic). They are pink to purple in colour and about 6 cm (2.4 in) long with a diameter of 4.5 cm (1.8 in). The inner petals are fused at the base to form a "floral tube", which is white. In cultivation in the Northern Hemisphere, plants flower in the spring – March to April. [2] [3]

The fruit is green, more or less spherical with four to five ribs. The brown to black seeds are about 1.75 mm (0.07 in) long. [2]

The specific epithet opuntioides means "like Opuntia", referring to the appearance of the stems.

The species was first described by in 1897 by Engelmann, but given only a provisional name, Epiphyllum obovatum. This was taken up by Britton and Rose in 1923, when they transferred the species to Epiphyllanthus. However the species was not named properly according to the rules of botanical nomenclature until Löfgren and Dusén did so in 1905, creating the name Epiphyllum opuntioides. As with many other species of the genus (see Schlumbergera: Taxonomy), other generic names were used afterwards: Zygocactus (Löfgren in 1918), Epiphyllanthus (Moran in 1953) and finally Schlumbergera (David Hunt in 1969). [4]

Thus the synonyms of S. opuntioides (Loefgr. & Dusén) D.R.Hunt include: [4]

Epiphyllum obovatum Engelm. ex K.Schum., nom. prov. Epiphyllanthus obovatus (Engelm. ex K.Schum.) Britton & Rose Epiphyllum opuntioides Loefgr. & Dusén Zygocactus opuntioides (Loefgr. & Dusén) Loefgr. Epiphyllanthus opuntioides (Loefgr. & Dusén) Moran

Schlumbergera opuntioides occurs only in the coastal mountains of south-east Brazil, in the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Minas Gerais, in the southernmost part of the tropics. Sites where it has been found include Mount Itatiaia in the Itatiaia National Park, the Serra da Mantiqueira in São Paulo, and the Serra do Ibitipoca in southern Minas Gerais. [2] Plants are said to grow at altitudes of around 1,700 metres (5,600 ft) [1] and 2,400 metres (7,900 ft). [2] Because of their altitude and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, the coastal mountains have high humidity – warm moist air is forced upwards into higher, colder locations where it condenses. S. opuntioides grows on trees (epiphytic) or on rocks (epilithic). [2]

It is listed in the category of "near threatened" due to loss of habitat in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. [1]


Watch the video: Cactus de navidad y sustrato