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Rhipsalis cereuscula (Coral Cactus)


Scientific Name

Rhipsalis cereuscula Haw.

Common Names

Coral Cactus, Rice Cactus, Mistletoe Cactus


Erythrorhipsalis cereuscula, Hariota cereuscula, Hariota saglionis, Rhipsalis brachiata, Rhipsalis penduliflora, Rhipsalis saglionis

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Rhipsalideae
Genus: Rhipsalis


Rhipsalis cereuscula is a shrubby to bushy epiphytic cactus with light green stems crowned with clusters of tiny rice-shaped joints. The stems are up to 3 feet (90 cm) long, erect at first but become pendant as size increases. Flowers are greenish-white, often tinged with pink, bell-shaped, up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long and up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) in diameter. They are borne from the terminal areoles and followed by tiny, white berries.

Rhipsalis cereuscula (Coral Cactus)

Photo by Dons Garden


USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Rhipsalis do not thrive in direct sunlight. Exposure to the afternoon sun can burn the leaves, turn them yellow or lead to spotting. However, without sufficient sunlight, they will not bloom, and their growth can be stunted. These cacti do best with morning sun and full shade in the afternoon.

As Rhipsalis is commonly grown indoors, care must be given to the placement of the plants. They should be kept at least 20 inches (50 cm) away from windows that receive midday or afternoon sun. The glass in the windows can multiply the heat from the sun's rays, causing sunburned leaves. Keep in mind that in its native environment, Rhipsalis is accustomed to receiving light that has been filtered through dense, overhanging tree branches. Picturing this environment can help you adjust your lighting accordingly.

Rhipsalis is not a drought-resistant plant, so regular watering is essential. Overwatering, however, can cause weak stems and rotted roots. Using watering can help you measure the amount of water you are providing. The pot's size compared to the plant's size, the humidity levels in the home, and the type of potting soil used can all affect the watering frequency.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Rhipsalis.


Rhipsalis cereuscula is native to Uruguay and Brazil.


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