Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tiptoe Through The Tulips: Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri (Easter Cactus)

I decided I better figure out what this one was, because I appears to be trying to kill it, despite the massive numbers of blooms. Here you can see the base stems that look like they are all dying with green sections and tons of blooms at the end, despite it all.

Meanwhile, to give you an idea of scale, here are the blooms in their detail on the edges of my fingertips -- about an inch across, but very bright and happy.

While the common name of Easter Cactus is well agreed on by the various sites I looked at, no one can seem to decide which Cacti genus it belongs in. Some put it in Schlumbergera, some in the Epiphyllum group, like our orchid cactus friend, and it was previously referred to as a Zygocactus, but most seem to put it in the Rhipsalidopsis genus now, so that's where I decided to keep it. Even though they can't agree on a genus, they all have it in the species gaertneri -- backwards, I tell you! How am I supposed to figure out what they are if everyone else doesn't agree?

Anyway, I was supposed to be watering this guy up until it bloomed, and then let it get dry between waterings. I kinda did that backwards, and is likely why this guy is in such a bad state at this point, even though it is healthy enough to flower. I'm trying to do better now that I know what it is. We'll see. Man, am I glad I lucked into an established garden that I can't probably damage too badly.

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