• WordNet 3.6
    • n Rhipsalis large genus of epiphytic or lithophytic unarmed cacti with usually segmented stems and pendulous branches; flowers are small followed by berrylike fruits
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n rhipsalis A genus of cacti of the tribe Opuntieæ.
    • n rhipsalis It is characterized by small flat flowers, six to ten spreading oblong petals, a cylindrical, angled, and dilated stem, and a smooth ovary bearing in fruit a smooth pea-like berry containing somewhat pear-shaped seeds. There are about 30 species, natives of tropical America, with one in South Africa, Mauritius, Madagascar, and Ceylon, the only cactus native to those regions. They are unlike any other cactus genus in their great variety of form and habit of stems, some resembling mistletoe, some the marsh-samphire, some the ice-plant, others the Epiphyllum, etc. They are fleshy shrubs with a woody axis, jointed branches, and lateral flowers, which project from notches on the edges of the flat-branched species. Their leaves are reduced to minute scales, which appear at the notches, mixed with wool and stiff needles. Most of the species are epiphytes, pendent from the branches of trees, often for many feet; whence sometimes called mistletoe-cactus, some species also having white berries. Also called willow-cactus, in conformity with the genus name. In cultivation they are reared in pots and baskets.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Rhipsalis rip′sa-lis a genus of Cacti.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. rhips, a mat.


In literature:

The same rule applies to Rhipsalis, none of the species of which are happy when kept long dry.
"Cactus Culture For Amateurs" by W. Watson
RHIPSALIS, a genus of about 50 tropical species, mainly in Central and South America, but a few in tropical Africa and Madagascar.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 4" by Various

In news:

Genie Uebelacker of Clackamas wrote weeks ago to tell me her mistletoe cactus ( Rhipsalis baccifera ) was blooming for the first time in more than 40 years.