by Lee Dubbs
(Memphis TN)


I lost this plant years ago but would like to have another one. It looks like a giant christmas cactus but it ditn’t bloom for me but one time. I had the plant for about 4 years before it bloomed. My husband called it my ‘weed’. The flower is a red/fuschia color. I’m including the only two photos I have of it in bloom.


Drought Smart Plants reply:
Hi Lee, these are very closely related to the Christmas Cactus, Schlumbergera, but as you say, much bigger!

These are Epiphyllum, the Orchid Cactus, known for their gorgeous and brilliantly colored blooms. Imagine them growing in their native habitat in a jungle, high up in the tree tops in full bloom!

See more about them here:

Comments for Looks like a giant Christmas Cactus

Mar 21, 2012
Giant Christmas Cactus
by: Lee Dubbs

Jacki, thank you for your quick response to my query. Are these plants readily available here in the US and will middle eastern Florida provide good growing conditions for one?

These are available in many greenhouses – but be aware that they are not that popular with growers as they only have the one season of bloom, then the rest of the year, they just look like a really ugly green gangly thing. It might take some looking, but the search will be a challenge! You’re on a mission.

As for growing them in Florida, that sounds like the perfect conditions for them – they’ll most likely be able to stay outside on a sheltered porch or lanai for most of the year, which is great.

Good luck with your quest!

Jul 18, 2014
“Giant Christmas Cactus”
by: Lilly Tilly

I also have one of these, and never knew what it was. “Giant Christmas Cactus”… good description, haha that’s what I put in my search!

My bloom is a deep pink. What I love about it is that when it opens it looks so beautiful. However for the next few weeks it gets larger and even lovelier.

Indeed mine doesn’t bloom often either, certainly not once every year. Best to you on finding another!!

May 13, 2015
Have one in Shelbyville, KY
by: Kay

I have one just starting to bloom. I also have a baby I started off a piece the dog broke off which I would be happy to give you. I have only had mine about a year but have a very bright location in the house for it.

Dec 28, 2015
Large Christmas Cactus
by: Marcus

I have 6 of the plants. Pink fuchsia flower, a really beautiful white bloom and a white bloom that is similar to the pink bloom (kind of a bell shape). The really beautiful white blooming plants have had sometimes 4 or 5 blooms at the same time but unfortunately they only last one day.

Nov 19, 2016
Epithelium also bears a (?)fruit(?)
by: Kathy Galloway

I live in central CA & I too have a beautiful hot pink – red blooming giant christmas cactus on steroids that I now have a proper name for. Mine blooms maybe 1 time a year with 1 amazing flower that only lasts 1 day. This year (maybe 8-10 years with me after a clipping gift.) Mine produced a fruit. That’s the only thing I can think to call it.

I thought it was a new flower but when didn’t bloom and was still there weeks later I plucked it off and cut it open. (It’s not good to arouse curiosity at my house, lol.) It looks grape like on the inside with maybe a light pleasant scent. (Or my lotion smells good.) I am afraid to taste it because I’ll either die a horrific death or it will be the best thing ever and I’ll never see another. I love strange stuff!!!

Nov 19, 2016
It’s a Fruit!
by: Jacki

Congratulations, Kathy! Your plant has borne a fruit! These are edible, and in some areas are called ‘Dragon Fruit’, which you can look up on the web. Or, you can let it ripen next time, and maybe save the seeds. I’m not sure if it needs to be cross pollinated, so you may need more than one to make viable seed. It will be a good experiment!

Apr 15, 2019
Awesome plant
by: Pat Hicks

I have what we called a giant Christmas cactus, and this year has 28 blooms. Usually we have only three. I have another one that was a cutting from my Mother about 15 years ago. It is blooming foor the first time! They are spectacular! Blooms the size of a mans hand.

Jan 09, 2020
Epiphyllum or Christmas Cactus?
by: Mary

I bought two plants at an estate sale recently.

One is a huge epiphyllum with the long trailing lobes, and I’m so anxious to find out what variety it is.

I hope it will bloom this year. I wish I could post photos here.

The other plant looks just like a giant Christmas Cactus with the scalloped lobes, only they are twice the size of those on my other Christmas cactus plants.

The one thing that is very different from my other ones is that it has these barrel shaped lobes at the center growth area with several ridges of fine hairs around them.

The scalloped lobes begin growing from the “barrels” and continue to grow from one another until the branches are long and trailing.

Aside from that the plant looks like an oversized Christmas cactus. Do you know if that’s what it is, or is this another variety of orchid cactus?

Jan 09, 2020
Note for Mary
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

Your plants sound amazing! I would love to see pictures of them – use the contact form (link in the footer of every page on this site).

For your second plant, is it possible that it’s Hylocereus, The Queen Of The Night? They look very similar, but tend to try to climb more than trail down.

Sep 09, 2020
Tiny xmas cacti
by: Vicki

I had, a good few years ago, a cacti that was almost identical to the usual christmas cacti but the body and stems and leaves where tiny in comparison. It did all the stuff the bigger ones did but only in a miniature scale. I would love to have another but just can’t find any so I m beginning to wonder if I imagined it all..

Sep 10, 2020
Note for Vicki
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

You’re not imagining it! There are tiny versions, but they are in the Rhipsalis genus for some odd reason. They are about half the size, and seem to bloom in the fall. They aren’t as popular, so the flowers don’t bloom in quite the same spectacular colours. More on this Bing image search.