Rhipsalis dissimilis (G. A. Lindberg) Schumann in Martius, Fl. Bras. 4(2): 286. 1890

Photos copyright Ken Friedman

Desc from Backeberg 1977 because that in B&R 1920 includes the description of R. pacheco-leoni.

  • Body Strongly branching.
  • Main stem ribbed or cylindric, to 1cm diam.
  • Shoots slender, ribbed, more or less terete, bristly at first.
  • Flowers 6 mm wide, borne laterally, white with a pink centre
  • Fruit purple, compressed
  • Habitat Brazil

Notes from Bradleya 13.
A possible older name for this species is R. rugulosa Lemaire in Ill. Hort. 8: unnumbered page after tab. 293 (1861). Its type, which can be assumed not to have been preserved or illustrat­ed, was erroneously said to have come from the Greater Antilles (cult. Bot. Gard. Caen, 1861) and its flowers were not described, but the details given for its stem and fruit are a reason­able fit for R. dissimilis. It is too poorly typified to displace the much better known younger name.

The plant illustrated as R. dissimilis by Britton & Rose (1923) is here recognized as R. pacheco-leonis Lofgren .
This species is very variable, depending on the habitat in which it occurs. Its fruits are normally red with a white base, but occasionally they are almost colourless. The recently described R. spinescens Lombardi (1993), from exposed rocks in the municipio of Itarare', Sao Paulo state, is a fertile yet morphologically juvenile phenotype that readily reverts to the adult stage of R. dissimilis in cultivation. Such neotenic behaviour is typical of this species.

forma dissimilis

DISTRIBUTION. Brazil (Sao Paulo, Parana): epilithic and epiphytic, seasonal habitats at >800 m altitude.

Desc from Hunt 2006
Branch segments variable and diverse, usually with 5-11 low ribs, sometimes 3-5 angled or nearly terete, 5-14 cm x 4-10mm; areoles at least those of the ribbed segments with bristly hairs 3-8mm; flowering areoles sunken, woolly; flower buds tinged red; flowers 10-15mm diam., pale yellow or greenish; fruit subglobose, 8-10mm diam., pink or purple