Greek rhips—wickerwork, alis—like, referring to the thin stems of some species.
Body in nature mostly grows on trees or rocks and pendulous. Stems cylindrical, ribbed or winged and often jointed, new segments generally arising in clusters at the tips of old ones. Spines mostly absent. Flowers relatively small with few perianth segments; mostly autumn and winter. Pericarpel cylindrical and naked, rarely with soft spines; flower tube short or absent. Fruit berry-like often almost transparent, mostly naked.
R. fasciculata (Willd.) Haw. is occasionally available; it has cylindrical segments to 10 cm long and small laterally white flowers.
Cuttings and seeds.
Branches arising from the tips of old segments and often in clusters; flowers small.
50-55 species from tropical America, mostly Brazil, with 1 species extending to tropical Africa, Madagascar and Asia (possibly introduced, the seed carried by birds).
Barthlott (1987); Barthlott & Taylor (1995). Directory of epiphyllums and other related epiphytes, Rainbow Gardens, North America (1981) is an extensive cultivar listing.
Source: (1997). Cactaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.