Andrew asked about the new plant behind the sink, the one on the far left.
This one, a Rhipsalis. He's got a curious mind and always asks what a plant is, but primarily wants to know where it came from (and not just the nursery where I purchased it). Without really thinking about my answer I said "it's a cactus from Africa", to which he replied "no, cactus are New World, you know that"...uhm, yes indeed I do.
Wiki: "The genus is found widely in Central America, parts of the Caribbean and a great part of northern and central South America. The center of diversity of Rhipsalis lies in the rainforests of the Mata Atlantica in southeastern Brazil. It is found throughout the New World, but additionally in tropical Africa, Madagascar and Sri Lanka. It is the only cactus with a natural occurrence outside the New World." Well ain't that interesting!
I bought that little Rhipsalis mainly as insurance for future projects. I'd went looking for another to add to the Bromeliad planters and come up dry. Knowing they're okay with low-light (another non-normal cactus characteristic) I figured it would be happy in the house until I needed it outside.
Here's my first Rhipsalis, which survived life in the somewhat neglected Bromeliad planters of 2017 and seems to be thriving this year.
And my second, a much thinner and less textured plant. Unfortunately buying a Rhipsalis (in my experience) you don't get an actual species name, just the genus. There are 35 different species, but growers don't seem to want to give you a complete name. Oh and yes, identifying what I've got is on my list of things to do.
That said this one, which I purchased last June in Spokane (at the Friends of Manito Plant Sale), was labeled as Rhipsalis baccifera.
It was a gnarly mess, which I attempted to clean up.
And it's rewarding me with a lot of bright-green new growth.
Another way Rhipsalis are fascinating (besides their New World/Old World origins) is the fact they are the largest and most widely distributed genus of epiphytic cacti, found as an epiphyte in tropical rain-forests AND some species also grow epilithic or, rarely, terrestrial (source). Okay I know epiphyte but epilithic, that's a new one for me (I know, you're probably way ahead if me and already knew all of this). Epilithic = (Botany) (of plants) growing on the surface of rock. Yes, I should have been able to figure that one out on my own. Lithops are "living stones"... stone = rock. How interesting.
I cut a few pieces of my Rhipsalis baccifera and stuck them in the soil of the Bromeliad planters, they rooted right away.
This is when I must mention a hazy memory from 5 years ago, during a Bloggers Fling visit to the San Francisco Botanical Garden Conservatory of Flowers. I remember Denise of A Growing Obsession studying a Rhipsalis then turning to me and saying something like "Rhipsalis, this is a genus I need to know more about"... ya, me too Denise. It took me 5-years but I'm right there with you!
Weather Diary, Aug 20: Hi 83, Low 60/ Precip 0
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