Rainforest cacti

Types of cactus: EpiphyllumHave you ever heard about such cactus types as epiphyllum, rhipsalis or schlumbergera? Certainly, you did. These epiphytic cacti of rainforests grow in moist and sultry woods on forks of branches, in hollows and on stubs. They settle on leaf humus, so their roots are short, but very branchy and clutch at any crack or a ledge on a tree bark. These cactus plants grow all year long, because there are no seasons of droughts and colds in the rainforests.

Thick leaves always cover these types of cactus from the sun, causing shading, that’s why they don’t need to have such means of protection against overheat of the stalk like a thick skin, a wax bloom or fuzz.

Epiphytic cactus types grow in damp atmosphere and they have no need at all to save water. They absorb it from the moist air around thanks to a bulk of stomae on their wide stalks. You can always recognize these cactus types: their stalks consist of many thin sprouts, and they look like dendritic leaf-shaped plates. They are bare and unprotected and need warmth and moisture the whole year round. Following the advice of many cactus specialists I’ve placed my schlumbergera bridgesii (Christmas cactus) in the aquarium covered by glass.

7 Responses to Rainforest cacti

  1. Shelly says:

    Hello! My aunt gave me a cactus several years ago that has grown and done very well! Recently it grew a large bloom on it; it’s first. It opened up into a beautiful, purple-haired, star looking bloom. Is there a way to send a picture to you, because I’d like to know if you can identify it.
    Thank you!
    Shelly May
    Las Cruces, NM

  2. […] stagnation near their roots. The soil for these cacti should contain less humus, than the soil for forest cactus species, and it should have an admixture of […]

  3. […] belong to another group of cacti – to xerophytes. This group is much bigger than the group of epiphytes, and includes various species from different areas of […]

  4. annuar kassim says:

    I’m intending to cultivate cacti for commercial purposes, over in Malaysia. Malaysia is a tropical, rain-forest, humid and year long sun & rain.
    Pls assist me in choosing the suitable types, plus any infos on how to extract it’s alkaloids, for the purpose of medicine. Do we need to chop off the plant or there are methods that would allow such procedure, without harming or cause the plant to die or stagnant in growing.

  5. rondi kutz says:

    Would love a cactus expert help us…we inherited a yard full of cactus 7 years ago, that we have been nurtured and fallien in love wiith…( We live in the Sonoran Desert south of Tucson AZ). We have some cactus that we believe to be very old, but I cannot find anything on line that would help me to determine how old some of these cactus are! If you look at our blog….www.toddsbackyard.com., you would maybe see what I’m talking about.
    Love to hear what you might have to tell us…

  6. Jim Hathaway says:

    I have what II believe to be a forest cactus, I got the plant from a friend at my office, it came in a small cup and was just one leaf, it has grown to be seven feet tall, four years it got one beautiful dime size yellow flower, last year about 15 this year it looks like 40, the leaves are flat and close to half the size of a CD, My question is, about two month ago a green ball about the size of a large marshmellow started growing about half way up the plant it starting to get more lellow and has smaller thorns on, what is this thing???? also is there a web sight that I can see Cactus plants to confirm what I have THANK YOU Jim

  7. fieria says:


    There are many sites where you can ask to identify your cactus. I would suggest you trying cactus forums, for example this one. There you can upload your pictures and ask other members to help you.

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