There has never been a problem recognizing members of the tribe Rhipsalideae, which are all epiphytic or lithophytic cacti, but there have been disagreements regarding which genera should be recognized. Important work by Wilhelm Barthlott and Nigel Taylor (1995) has clarified the delimitation of genera. Four genera are included in the tribe, each genus with distinctive diagnostic characteristics. One of the four was described in 1923 by Nathaniel Britton and Joseph Rose. A nomenclatural problem had invalidated the use of the name Hariota, honoring the sixteenth century botanist Thomas Hariot, so Britton and Rose coined an anagram, Hatiora (type, Rhipsalis salicornioides = Hatiora salicornioides).

The five species of Hatiora are similar to Rhipsalis in many ways but can be distinguished by their strictly determinate growth of stem segments, highly colored terminal flowers from composite areoles, and pericarpels and fruits either round or angled in cross section.

Hatiora Britton & Rose 1923

Hariota A. P. deCandolle 1834, in part and notAdanson 1763

Rhipsalidopsis Britton & Rose 1923

Epiphyllopsis (A. Berger) Backeberg & F. M. Knuth 1935

Pseudozygocactus Backeberg 1938

Subfamily Cactoideae, tribe Rhipsalideae. Plants epiphytic or lithophytic shrubs, freely branching, with determinate growth, erect but later spreading or arching, often becoming pendulous. Stems with segments not exceeding 5 cm (2 in) long, cylindrical, winged, angled, or flat, arising singly or in clusters from composite areoles at tips of older segments. Tubercles absent. Areoles mostly small; flower-producing areoles terminal and composite. Spines soft bristles or absent. Flowers borne apically, open during the day, radially symmetrical, bell shaped, yellow, pink, or red; pericarpels naked, angled, winged, or round in cross section; floral tubes short. Fruits small, round, naked. Seeds brown or black, 1 mm in diameter. Distribution: southeastern Brazil.

Hatiora is usually subdivided into two subgenera. Subgenus Hatiora has round or cylindrical stem segments and is never ribbed; the pericarpels are round in cross section. Subgenus Rhipsalidopsis has flattened stem segments; the pericarpels are angled or winged.

Hatiora epiphylloides (Porto &Werdermann) Buxbaum 1957

Rhipsalis epiphylloides Porto & Werdermann 1935, Pseudozygocactus epiphylloides (Porto & Werdermann) Backeberg 1942 Hariota epiphylloides var. bradei Porto & A. Castellanos 1941, H. epiphylloides subsp. bradei (Porto & A. Castellanos) Barthlott & N. P. Taylor 1995

Plants epiphytic, shrubby, often pendent. Stems segments triangular, bright green, 2-3 cm (0.8-1.2 in) long, to 1.5 cm (0.6 in) wide. Areoles minute, spineless. Flowers sulfur yellow, 1-2 cm (0.4-0.8 in) long. Distribution: eastern Brazil.

Two subspecies of Hatiora epiphylloides are recognized. Subspecies epiphylloides usually has bright green, triangular stem segments; it occurs northwest of Rio de Janeiro. Subspecies bradei tends to have narrower, more elongated stem segments with fewer lateral areoles, and somewhat larger flowers; it occurs southwest of Rio de Janeiro and east of Sao Paulo.

Hatiora gaertneri (Regel) Barthlott 1987

easter cactus

Epiphyllum russellianum var. gaertneri Regel 1884, E. gaertneri (Regel) W. Watson 1889, Schlumbergera gaertneri (Regel) Britton & Rose 1913, Rhipsalis gaertneri (Rege\) Vaupel 1925, Epiphyllopsis gaertneri (Regel) A. Berger 1929, Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri (Regel) Moran 1953

Plants usually much branched, pendent shrubs. Stem segments usually flattened but sometimes three- to six-angled,

Hatiora Gaertneri Origin Brazil

Hatiora epiphylloides subsp. epiphylloides, photograph by Wilhelm Barthlott dull green, with small notches on margins subtending the areoles, often reddish at first, 4-7 cm (1.6-2.8 in) long, 2-2.5 cm (0.8-1 in) wide. Areoles bearing short brownish yellow bristles that sometimes appear beardlike at the tips. Flowers 1-3, borne apically on terminal stem segments, funnelform, dark scarlet, 4-5 cm (1.6-2 in) long, 4-7.5 cm (1.6-3 in) in diameter. Fruits red, oblong. Distribution: Paraná and Santa Catarina, Brazil, at elevations of350-1300 m (1100-4300 ft).

Hatiora gaertneri, photograph by Gordon Rowley

Hatiora Xgraeseri (Werdermann) Barthlott ex D. R. Hunt 1992 Rhipsaphyllopsis graeseri Werdermann 1939

Hatiora Xgraeseri is well known in cultivation but unknown in the wild. It is a hybrid, H. gaertneri x H. rosea.

Hatiora herminiae (Porto & A. Castellanos) Backeberg ex Barthlott 1987

Hariota herminiae Porto & A. Castellanos 1941, Rhipsalis herminiae (Porto & A. Castellanos) Kimnach 1996

Plants epiphytic, erect or arching shrubs, to 30 cm (12 in) high, branching dichotomously or in whorls. Stem segments gray to matte dark green, cylindrical, not ribbed, 2-5 cm (0.8-2 in) long, to 0.5 cm in diameter, with felt on tips. Areoles few, small, lateral, bearing small scales and one or two small bristles. Flowers usually solitary from terminal areoles, rose pink or pinkish magenta, to 2 cm (0.8 in) long and 2.5 cm (1 in) in diameter. Fruits berries, olive green. Distribution: Serra da Mantiqueira, Brazil, in cloud forests at an elevation of 2000 m (6600 ft).

Hatiora rosea (Lagerheim) Barthlott 1987


Rhipsalis rosea Lagerheim 1912, Rhipsalidopsis rosea (Lagerheim) Britton & Rose 1923

Plants mostly erect with one to three short branches. Stem segments flat or three- to five-angled with concave sides, reddish, becoming dark green,2-4 cm (0.8-1.6 in) long, margins with

Rhipsalis Easter Cactus

Hatiora gaertneri, photograph by Gordon Rowley

Rhipsalis Hatiora Salicornioides

Hatiora herminiae, photograph by Wilhelm Hatiora rosea, photograph by Charles Glass Hatiora salicornioides


Hatiora herminiae, photograph by Wilhelm Hatiora rosea, photograph by Charles Glass Hatiora salicornioides


Hylocereu s costaricensis 377

two or three notches. Areoles marginal and apical, with a few bristles. Flowers borne terminally, broadly funnelform, pink, 3-4 cm (1.2-1.6 in) long and in diameter. Fruits depressed globose, yellowish. Distribution: Paraná to Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, at elevations of 1000-2000 m (3300-6600 ft).

Hatiora salicornioides (Haworth) Britton & Rose ex L. H.

Bailey 1915 drunkard's dream

Rhipsalis salicornioides Haworth 1819, Cactus salicornioides (Haworth) Link & Otto 1822, Hariota salicornioides (Haworth) A. P. de Candolle 1834 Cactus lyratusVeUoio 1825

Hariota villigera K. Schumann 1890, Rhipsalis villigera (K. Schumann) Orcutt 1902

Hariota bambusoides F. A. C. Weber 1898, Rhipsalis bambusoides F. A. C. Weber 1898, Hatiora bambusoides (F. A. C. Weber) Britton & Rose 1923 Hatiora cylindrica Britton & Rose 1923

Plants erect to arching to pendent, becoming woody, freely branching, to 1 m (3.3 ft) high. Stem segments deep green, 1.5-5 cm (0.6-2 in) long and wide, club shaped, often with distinctive basal necks, arranged in whorls of two to six. Areoles very small, with short bristles. Flowers borne at tips of younger stem segments, golden yellow to orange, 1-2 cm (0.4-0.8 in) long and in diameter. Fruits top shaped, white, translucent. Distribution: Bahia, Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Paraná, Brazil. Hatiora salicornioides is extremely variable and probably deserves subdivision into infraspecific taxa; C. Backeberg recognized three varieties.


Some of the most spectacular climbing, night-flowering cacti are those belonging to the genus Hylocereus, one of several genera described or elevated to the level of genus by Nathaniel Britton and Joseph Rose and now placed in the tribe Hylocereeae. Hylocereus was described by Alwin Berger in 1905 as a subgenus of Cereus, Britton and Rose raising it to the level of genus (type, Cactus triangularis = H. triangularis) in 1909. The name is derived from the Greek hyle, forest, thus forest cereus, believed to describe the habitat of Hylocereus. However, some species are found in relatively dry, open woodland areas that receive only seasonal rainfall.

Britton and Rose also described Wilmattea with a single species, W. minutiflora, which the International Cactaceae Systematics Group has placed in Hylocereus, as H. minuti-florus. Myron Kimnach (1983a) disagrees, however, believing that it is distinct. Following the group, 18 species are in cluded here, most flowering in summer. Hylocereus is characterized as having stem segments that are not flattened and that bear large, night-blooming flowers with long floral tubes; the ovaries and fruits were covered with large, leaflike, naked scales. Members of the genus are commonly called orchid cacti, jungle cacti, night-blooming cereus, and epiphyl-lums. Hylocereus has the largest flowers in the cactus family, but many species grow so rapidly and become so large that they prove difficult in cultivation.

Hylocereus (A. Berger) Britton & Rose 1909 Cereus subg. Hylocereus A. Berger 1905 Wilmattea Britton & Rose 1920

Subfamily Cactoideae, tribe Hylocereeae. Plants climbing, clambering, orepiphytic, freely branching, shrubby, producingaerial roots, often forming huge plants 10 m (33 ft) or more In length. Stems usually three-winged orthree-angled, segmented, green, often glaucous, horny marginally. Areoles with short wool. Spines few and short or none. Flowers very large, funnelform, usually open at night, white or rarely red; pericarpels and floral tubes stout, with broad, triangular, leaflike scales; floral areoles usually naked; stamens forming a continuous series. Fruits globose to oblong, usually red, fleshy, covered with broad scales, often edible, opening irregularly, large; floral remains persistent or deciduous. Seeds small, elongate to kidney shaped, glossy black, smooth or slightly textured. Distribution: southern Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, and northern South America.

Hylocereus calcaratus (F. A. C. Weber) Britton & Rose 1909 Cereus calcaratus F. A. C. Weber 1902

Plants tall, climbing shrubs. Stems elongated, three-angled, the faces flat or deeply concave, bright green, margins with distinct rounded lobes, 4-7 cm (1.6-2.8 in) wide. Areoles small, set immediately above each lobe. Spines 1-3, flexible, white to cream, in a lateral row, 2-4 mm long. Flowers borne subapically, funnelform, cream colored, 35-37 cm (14-15 in) long; floral tubes strongly curved upward. Distribution: Costa Rica.

Hylocereus costaricensis (F. A. C. Weber) Britton & Rose 1909

Cereus costaricensis F. A. C. Weber 1902

Plants very stout climbers or vines. Stems three-angled, green, becoming bluish gray or whitish, to 10 cm (3.9 in) wide. Ribs thin, more or less straight or undulate, not horny. Spines 2-4, short, stout, brown, with a few hairs or bristles. Flowers borne subapically, fragrant, white within, sometimes reddish outside, to 30 cm (12 in) long. Fruits to 10 cm (3.9 in) long. Distribution: Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama. Hylocereus costaricensis is poorly understood.

378 Hylocereus costaricensis

378 Hylocereus costaricensis

Spiny Hylocereus Cactus
Hylocereus costaricensis

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