return to greenhouse inventory

Hatiora salicornioides - Drunkard's Dream

Family: Cactaceae

This plant, along with the Christmas Cactus and hundreds of other species, belongs to the large "Rhipsalis-alliance" of the cactus family. At first glance, these are, perhaps, rather unlikely-looking cacti. Spines are only rarely produced, sometimes towards the base of relatively old stems or, in atavistic fashion, on isolated stem segments. Nevertheless, the small white spots visible on these stems are, technically, typical cactus areoles minus the spines. Another un-cactus-like attribute: the rhipsaloid cacti are not desert plants. Rather, they occur naturally as rainforest epiphytes.

Hatiora differs from Rhipsalis in the stem-segments having very unequal distal and proximal ends and flowers in a pseudoterminal position, rather than lateral.

The bottle-shaped stem segments give rise to the common name, "Drunkard's Dream." The specific epithet, "salicornioides" is a reference to the genus Salicornia (Chenopodiaceae) which also has well-marked segmentation of stems.

Hatiora salicornioides flowers reliably every winter in the UR greenhouse. The little pale green band located between the yellow perianth parts and the green stem segment is the inferior ovary.