Is this a Chrismas cactus?

haxuan(Vietnam)September 5, 2006

I live in Vietnam where this plant is called "the crab feet". Maybe you can tell me if it's a Xmas or Easter cactus or neither. Thanks.

By the way, I read in other posts where you root Xmas cactus in soil. Well, here people put this plant in a soil-less mix similiar to the one they use to plant cymbidium... and my... it's so easy we never have a trouble keeping this plant thrive and flower.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is indeed a Schlumbergera (Christmas cactus). They're very easy to care for. But also: please don't compare your growing situations in Vietnam to those in northern latitudes.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 5:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It is Schlumbergera but appears to be what is commonly refered to as Thanksgiving cactus. It has the jagged leaf segments and lop-sided blooms. True Christmas cactus has smooth leaf segments and symmetrical blooms.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 10:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi there,

Fred, may I pls. disagree a bit? Look again, the leaf segments are the rounder kind here, not the more jagged (I forgot which is Xmas cactus vs. Thanksgiving cactus). I believe the more rounded is called Schlum. bridgesii vs. the more jagged, called Schlum. truncata.

Or do I have it backwards??? It may be Tues., but my brain is behaving is if it were Monday!!!

Hi Haxuan,

I suspect your weather in Viet Nam is tropical, as such it's much more like the tropical mountain forests of Mid-Atlantic Brazil (Rio de Janeiro to be exact) where this plant originates. Bears no comparison at all as suggested above, to those of us w/ cold climate, frost & snow.

But it sure is a pretty picture, lovely blooms & great color!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 1:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanksgiving cactus ... Christmas cactus ... they're all Schlumbergera and this difference is one only made in the USA. In Europe they're all Christmas cacti and in Brazil they're 'flor de maio' no matter what month they bloom. Also this difference is outdated now. The first blooming S. truncata plants (what you tend to call thanksgiving cactus or crab cactus) are available already for sale in the commercial circuit (I just went to a wholesale fair this afternoon) and they're usually available in large quantities till the end of january.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 3:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi there... and thanks for your inputs. Now I know there's Thanksgiving cactus.
Pardon me for what I said above re the growing medium. My intention was to add some information that's all.
One more thing, although I live in Vietnam, I do grow this cactus in Dalat, a high-land region, where temperature is always from about 60 to 80 all the year round, no hot summer nor cold winter. Apart from this kind of cactus, I do grow anthurium, cymbidium, african violets, gloxinia, hoya, etc.
Again thanks for your inputs, I do enjoy your profound knowledge in horticulture.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 10:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
shauntavia(z8 GA)

your plant is so pretty, has been one on my list to order for a while

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 8:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Haxuan, I understood you were just sharing information, not suggesting we all do the same as you!

Just for future reference, Thanksgiving cactus has the points on the segments (claws!) and Christmas does not, it's edges are smoother - Easter cactus, which blooms in the spring, looks similar to Christmas cactus, maybe someone here can tell us how to tell them apart! I heard that Easter has "whiskers", soft little spines at the edges of the segments, whereas Christmas cactus does not...anyone else know how to tell the difference?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2006 at 2:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's actually quite easy to see the diffence between a Schlumbergera (christmas cactus) and a Hatiora (easter cactus). A Hatiora has the terminal areole in sort of a groove while Schlumbegera has this elongated terminal areole just on the end of the segment. Also the flowers are completely different in structure. Hatiora often has a red edge along the segments, but this criterium is not absolute.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2006 at 12:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Pieter, could you explain that a bit easier? Define "terminal" ariole, for example. I know the flower difference, and have one with the red edges, but whn you have never seen a plant bloom, and it comes with no label, I can't tell...the only difference I see is that the schlum seems to have deeper lobes on the segments, but I have heard that this isn't always true either.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2006 at 1:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well in both Hatiora and Schlumbergera most of the areoles are grouped into one large areole that one finds on top of the segments. This is the place where the flowers, new segments and spines are formed.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2006 at 5:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

ok, in your first post you said that schlums have the elongated term. ariole on the end of the segment and that hatiora have the term ariole in a sort of groove - then in the above post you said they BOTH have areoles grouped into one large areole on top of the segment. I am still confused. The way I am understanding is that both have the areole on the top of the segment, but that hatiora is indented (a groove) on the top of the segment whereas the schlum is not??? Is that what you mean?

Sorry to hound you, I am just having a hard time figuring it out!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 8:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Who cares about the name, they have beautiful flowers, I just wish mine would bloom in the winter instead of the summer.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 2:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Ines, that's exactly what I meant :-)

    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 8:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

ItâÂÂs Christmas cactusâ¦

Most people confuse about these unique tropical cacti regarding care, maintenance and, especially, on how to get them to re-bloom. Can you buy a Pines Christmas tree?

Here is a link that might be useful: Take Care of Live Christmas Trees

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 2:48AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Help with identifying this cactus
Hi Everyone. I got this cactus at the Huntington Garden...
id help
Cant figure out exactly what this cactus is
ID this cactus?
I got this little guy from Al's about a month ago....
Molding Cactus
Hello! I am very new to cacti and succulent gardening....
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™