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HATIORA salicornioides

Image of Hatiora salicornioides

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Cactaceae

Botanical Name

HATIORA salicornioides

Plant Common Name

Dancing Bones Cactus, Drunkard's Dream

General Description

Hatiora salicornioides is a shrubby, epiphytic (tree-dwelling) cactus with spineless, upright to arching, pencil-thin stems. The stem segments resemble tiny bottles, hence the common name "drunkard's dream." This popular houseplant is native to tropical forests of southeastern Brazil, where it grows in the angles of tree branches and on rock ledges.

The leafless, freely branching, olive-green stems of this cactus are divided into many segments. The stems ascend and then arch, giving the plant a mop-like appearance. Clusters of tiny, bell-shaped, gold to orange flowers appear at the branch tips from late winter to early spring. Small, round, white fruits follow the flowers.

In regions with mild, frost-free winters and hot rainy summers, plant this cactus in a coarse, humus-rich soil in a partly shaded tree crotch or rock crevice. In colder climates, grow it in a porous, highly organic, non-alkaline potting medium (such as a bark mix) in filtered or partial sunlight. From late spring to fall, water and fertilize freely, but water more sparingly in winter. It's an excellent plant for hanging moss baskets or large clay pots.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 9

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Cactus or Succulent

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Width

    2'-6' / 0.6m - 1.8m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring, Late Winter

  • Native To

    Brazil

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Arching/Fountain-shaped

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Orange, Gold, Peach

  • Fruit Color

    White, Ivory

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Olive, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Olive, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Olive, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Olive, Bronze

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Hanging Basket, Houseplant, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No