Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Rhipsalis~ which is the 'sulcata' & which the 'ewaldiana'

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Name: Jelinda AKA jojoe Ivey
Thomson,Ga. (Zone 8a)
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jojoe
Mar 11, 2013 4:12 PM CST
I believe i have a Rhipsalis 'sulcata' & 'ewaldiana' but both have been identified both ways.Can anyone help determine which plant goes with which name.

I believe this one is the R.'Sulcata'

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This one i think is R.'ewaldiana' or link cactus
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Any help would be appreciated,thank you very much Thumbs up
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twitcher
Mar 22, 2013 7:58 AM CST
JoJoe, The first plant is definitely R. sulcata. When it flowers and produces fruit, the fruit will be white, which is the easiest way to tell it from R. ewaldiana. The difference between these two species is subtle, but easy to see in most cases once you have seen the plants side by side and looked at the formal descriptions of the plants. I have both, and was never sure until they both fruited last year.

The second plant is not R. ewaldiana (nor sulcata). I have a couple of those plants(as yours shown in the picture), acquired over the past decade, that I have been trying to get a good ID for. However, I do not want to publicly attach a name to it here, as the ID is not certain. There are a number of varieties that it could be. Ewaldiana stem segments are not tubular. They have the same shape as sulcata stem segments. It is the way that stem segments connect that distinguishes the two species. Sulcata will have a long stem segment with multiple shorter segments coming out of the long segment. The shorter segments will be limited in length, typically a couple of inches for me. (If you can locate a picture of R. mesembryanthemoides, it does the same thing, except that the short stem segments are only about an 1" or so and there are a lot more of them with mesemberyanthemoides- sulcata is much looser and does not do look at all similar, its just the way the short segments grow on the longer segments) R. ewaldiana, however, is lankier than sulcata. Stems branch more freely, tend to run longer lengths and most importantly, do not normally duplicate the "multiple short segments attached to a single long segment" as a normal growth pattern. Lastly, Ken from Rhipsalis.com states that R. ewaldiana is not normally available commercially. It is apparently only held by a few collectors in the US. I was fortunate enough to get a cutting from him a couple of years ago and will gladly share one with you when my plant is big enough (will evaluate in warmer weather). This is a nice one to have and produces beautiful pink berries.

I think I know the company that your plants came from. They have been sticking R. ewaldiana labels on a lot of different plants recently but I have not seen any of them be the true R. ewaldiana. However, I have seen a couple recently in the stores that could have been easily confused with ewaldiana, but upon closer inspection were sulcata.

To conclude, I am confident that your first plant is R. sulcata and confident that the second one is neither sulcata nor ewaldiana.

Hope this helps.

-twit

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
twitcher
Mar 22, 2013 8:15 AM CST
JoJoe, A couple of pics to help you.

R. sulcata showing lots of flower buds. Notice the long stem running thru the pic vertically, with shorter segments emerging from the long stem. This is a characteristic of R. sulcata, but number of short segments can vary a lot.
Thumb of 2013-03-22/twitcher/f5c3dd

R.sulcata flower
Thumb of 2013-03-22/twitcher/ed8deb

R. ewaldiana Notice how the stems branch, which is different from sulcata in habit.
Thumb of 2013-03-22/twitcher/365fdd

Ewaldiana flower buds and flowers are, for me, pinker than R. sulcata. This color difference also follows in the fruit, with ewaldiana berries being pink and sulcata berries being white. However, fruit color is not always a good way to tell Rhipsalis apart as there are a number of species with varieties of different flower and fruit color. However, I have not heard of this for either ewaldiana or sulcata.


So, the big question becomes what is the ID of your second plant?
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Mar 22, 2013 8:22 AM CST
Thanks twit. Even I understood that.
How many different rhipsalis do you have?

I just went to the site you posted above twit. http://rhipsalis.com/
Wow, lots of great information and photos. Thumbs up
Name: Steve Robertson
Indianapolis, IN (Zone 6a)
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Stay95
Sep 29, 2013 6:25 PM CST
I am by no means an expert on Rhipsalis, but I have been helping the Indianapolis Museum of Art Greenhouse ID some of their Rhips - I believe the second plant you are showing is either R. cappilliformis or R. campo-porto ana. R. cappilliformis has a larger diameter stem than R. campo-porto ana which is small enough to look almost hair-like. It is hard to judge the size of your plants stem as there is nothing in the frame for perspective. If you look these up, you might be better able to ID them. I do wish there was more info on Rhipsalis in general, but, it is what it is!! Both of these varieties are found in Brazil I believe and other areas of South and Central America. They are epiphytic and/or lithophytic as most (if not all) Rhipsalis are, and thus they do best in dappled light with humid, moving air. They will tolerate more light and less humidity, but they grow best in the same conditions as bromeliads and orchids. Both of the above mentioned varieties work well on wood mounts or hanging baskets and I have seen R. campo-porto ana used as background planting on the mounts of Staghorn ferns.
Hope this helps -

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
twitcher
Sep 30, 2013 6:12 AM CST
Hi, Steve, glad to hear from you and welcome to ATP. There's been lots of research going on with Rhipsalis in Brazil and Germany the past few years. rhipsalis.com has some links to some interesting research and scientific articles that help distinguish the different varieties.

Lynn, sorry I missed your post and question. I don't have an exact count of my rhipsalis, but probably have 30 or more varieties, but most are still small. I lost several this past year during the winter months, but that is typical due to the very low humidity indoors here. I don't have the space to keep a lot of larger specimens, so small size works best.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Sep 30, 2013 8:13 AM CST
Thumbs up
Name: Steve Robertson
Indianapolis, IN (Zone 6a)
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Stay95
Sep 30, 2013 1:53 PM CST
Oddly, I have found some really odd varieties at our local Lowe's - they are distributed through Green Angel plants and they seem to have several that are not easily located elsewhere in our area. I have suddenly gotten smitten with them, which happens with me often - I go through different "stages" of collecting and am focusing on Rhipsalis currently. I am currently helping a local Museum Greenhouse in ID-ing some of their odd plants that have lost or never had name tags.
I will update as I find new ones and will really need to call upon others to help with ID'ing some as there seems to be a little controversy over the correct names and ID's.
Hope that I can help others, as I will definitely need the assistance of others on this project!!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Sep 30, 2013 1:57 PM CST
We have a great forum here at ATP for help in identifying plants. http://garden.org/forums/view/plantid/
And maybe you can help with some of the plants needing ID's in the forum. Hurray!

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