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Christmas Cactus Schlumbergera

Description

Schlumbergera is the Christmas cactus genus of the Cactaceae family.  It is native to Brazil and is technically an epiphyte that grows in rainforests. It has fleshy stems and showy leaves and grows well as a houseplant, preferring moisture but adapting to a variety of home environments.  One plant can live for over a hundred years, so a well-cared for specimen will brighten your living space for decades to come.

Quick ID:

  • Segmented stems (cladodes) that may have serrate or crenate margins
  • Areoles at the tips where flowers and/or hairs emerge
  • Zygomorphic flowers at the stem tips in shades of pink, red, and white

 

VIDEO Created by Laura Barth for "Houseplants, Succulents, and Cacti", a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
S. gaertneri, S. rosea, S. russelliana, S. truncata, S. x buckleyi
Tags:
#showy flowers#houseplant#perennials#succulent#epiphytic#spring flowers#pet friendly#herbaceous perennials#long lifespan#winter flowers#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#container plants#hsc#hsc-c
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
S. gaertneri, S. rosea, S. russelliana, S. truncata, S. x buckleyi
Tags:
#showy flowers#houseplant#perennials#succulent#epiphytic#spring flowers#pet friendly#herbaceous perennials#long lifespan#winter flowers#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#container plants#hsc#hsc-c
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Schlumbergera
    Family:
    Cactaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Epiphyte
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Houseplant
    Perennial
    Succulent
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Rounded
    Weeping
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Winter
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    Tepals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Bilaterally symmetrical flowers emerge from areoles at the ends of the stems. The "petals" are actually tepals and are brightly colored and showy. Depending on the species, they bloom between early winter and early spring.
  • Leaves:
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    What appear to be leaves are actually the segmented stem.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Segmented stems that branch into a "Y" shape. Each cladode may be serrate or crenate on the margins and have areoles at the tips where the flowers or hairs emerge.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants