Hatiora (Rhipsalis) salicornioides (bambusoides, villigera, stricta)

Drunkard's Dream, Spice Cactus

Family: Cactaceae.

Hanging cactus, stems up to 18 inches long (45 cm). The Hatiora is a Brazilian epiphyte (living in trees). The stems are spineless. The name 'Drunkard's Dream' refers to the fact that the segments are bottle shaped. It tolerates the extreme heat provided that it is not exposed to direct sun, and when kept in an area that doesn't freeze, it doesn't seem to mind the cold weather too much.

There is only one commonly grown cactus of this group of Brazilian epiphytes; H. salicornioides is commonly called Drunkard's Dream and Spice Cactus. This small, epiphytic shrub forms a tall, profusely branching stem up to 16 inches high from which numerous shoots grow. The pendent, leafless shoots, which can grow over 6 inches long, are made up of bottle-shaped joints. If the plant is given bright light, the more slender portion of the joint will be shorter and the shoots will take on a reddish hue. In the spring and summer, numerous small flowers ranging in color from yellow to red are borne at the ends of the shoots. These are followed by translucent white fruits with reddish tips. This plant needs a minimum temperature ranging from 48 and 54 F. Grow this epiphyte in humus-rich soil in a humid atmosphere with filtered sun.

PROPAGATION: Take end of stem cuttings with 1 to 4 segments. Let the cut dry out and heal for 12 to 24 hours. Plant in soil. The temperature should be at least 68°F (20°C)The rooting process takes 2 to 3 weeks. In May or June, the cuttings can be moved to the growing pot. At that time, they can be trimmed to 2 segments to encourage branching.