Rhipsalis trigona  Pfeiffer, Enum. Cact. 133.  (1837)

Photo from the Brussels Botanic Garden, © K. Friedman, 10/2003.

Desc from B&R 1923

Plant - stems stout, very much branched, 1.5 cm. in diameter, strongly 3-angled, the anglesor ribs alternating with those of adjoining joints;
Flowers
-  solitary, white to pinkish, widely spreading, sometimes 2 cm. broad;
Sepals
-  usually 3, short, obtuse; 
Petals
-  generally 7, oblong, obtuse; filaments numerous, white;
Style
-  white; stigma-lobes 4, white;
Ovary
-  sunken in the branch;
Fruit
-  globose, 8 to 10 cm. in diameter, red

Type locality: Brazil.

Notes from Bradleya 13. DISTRIBUTION. Brazil (S Sao Paulo, Parana, E Santa Catarina): epiphyte in seasonal Atlantic forest, to c. 800 m altitude. 

This name is neotypified here so as to main­tain the usage established more than a century ago by Schumann (l.c.), Lindberg (l.c.) et al. and followed by nearly all later authors. It may be doubted, however, that Pfeiffer's plant was the same, since his description requires 'Areolae 2-4 lin. [c. 4-8 mm] distantes', which can scarcely apply to the plant we know today and suggests that he may have been describing a form of  Lepismium cruciforme ('Num forsan Lepismii species?', Pfeiffer, l.c.). If the present solution is not acceptable (e.g. because it may be argued that the neotype is in serious conflict with the protologue), then the name will need to be con­served with a new type, or the species redescribed since there appears to be no other validly published name for it.

Glaziou (in Mem. Soc. bot. France 1(3): 327. (1909) reports R. trigona from Rio de Janeiro (Serra dos Orgaos) and Lombardi (1993: 73) expands its range further to include Espirito Santo. However, neither of these reports appear to be supported by specimens and on present knowledge the species does not appear to range further east than the region of the city of Sao Paulo.

Desc from Hunt 2006.
Body about 2m, pendent; branch segments 3 winged, up to 10 x 1.5cm, often curved or twisted, the angles continuous, alernating with successive segments; areoles immersed; flowers lateral, rotate, 1-2 per areole, up to 2cm, white or pale pink; fruit globose, red
Distinguished from the related R. dissimilis by its constantly triangular branch segments and abbreviated juvenile phase

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