Pfeiffera boliviana

Scientific Name

Pfeiffera boliviana (Britton) D.R.Hunt


Lepismium bolivianum, Rhipsalis boliviana, Hariota boliviana, Nothorhipsalis boliviana

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Rhipsalideae
Genus: Pfeiffera


Pfeiffera boliviana, also known as Lepismium bolivianum or Rhipsalis boliviana, is an epiphytic cactus that grows as a hanging mass of many-branched, somewhat 4-angled, up to 3 feet (90 cm) long stems. Branches are green, flattened, up to 12 inches (30 cm) long, and up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) wide. Flowers are usually solitary but sometimes 2 or 3 at an areole. They are small, creamy-white, or pink and appear in spring and early summer.


USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11b: from 35 °F (+1.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Rhipsalis do not thrive in direct sunlight. Exposure to afternoon sun can burn the leaves, turn them yellow or lead to spotting. However, without sufficient sunlight, they will not bloom, and its growth can be stunted. These cacti do best with morning sun and full shade in the afternoon.

As Rhipsalis is commonly grown indoors, care must be given to the placement of the plants. They should be kept at least 20 inches (50 cm) away from windows that receive midday or afternoon sun. The glass in the windows can multiply the heat from the sun's rays, causing sunburned leaves. Keep in mind that in its native environment, Rhipsalis is accustomed to receiving light that has been filtered through dense, overhanging tree branches. Picturing this environment can help you adjust your lighting accordingly.

Rhipsalis is not a drought-resistant plant, so regular watering is essential. Overwatering, however, can cause weak stems and rotted roots. Using a watering can help you measure the amount of water you are providing. The size of the pot, compared to the size of the plant, the humidity levels in the home, and the type of potting soil used can all affect the watering frequency.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Rhipsalis.


Pfeiffera monacantha is native Bolivia.


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Pfeiffera Boliviana

Scientific Name: Lepismium bolivianum
Synonyms: Forest Cactus, Hariota boliviana, Rhipsalis boliviana, Pfeiffera boliviana

  • Handsome and eye-catching jungle cactus
  • Easy care
  • Ideal hanging plant
  • Loves bright indirect light
  • A must have for any collector

Comes in a 15cm Hanging Nursery Basket.

These ideal houseplants make for a magnificent focal point in any brightly lit interior, adding that little extra spark with its lush deep green flat foliage.

Lepismium Bolivianum is found growing epiphytically in rock and tree crevices throughout the Bolivian Forests, hence one of its common names being Forest Cactus. These beautiful plants have a stunning trailing nature, cascading gracefully over the edge of their pots, making them ideal hanging basket plants or can look glorious flowing off a shelf.

The Pfeiffera Boliviana loves bright indirect light to thrive but direct sunlight will scorch your plant's foliage, leaving it unhappy and looking less than stellar. Yet, when provided with optimal conditions of even moisture and good airflow, these spectacular specimens will reward you with pink white blooms along their flat slender foliage adding to their appeal.

These highly sought after plants with their easy-care nature make excellent beginner plants or perfect any indoor plant enthusiast looking for something a little different. Where ever you choose to display this magnificent plant be it at home or in the office, it will truly make a statement.

Please note: These gorgeous plants are sadly toxic to pets.

Care Instructions

Follow these instructions to keep your Pfeiffera Boliviana happy and healthy.

Light: Prefers bright filtered light.
Water: Water once the soil has dried out two-thirds of the way. Lepisimum can withstand bouts of drought but prefer evenly moist soil, be cautious of allowing the roots to sit in soggy soil.
Humidity: Average room humidity is ideal, these plants grow in airy conditions and high humidity can lead to rot, avoid steamy kitchens and bathrooms.
Fertilize: Fertilize during the active growing season of Spring through to Summer and allow a rest period in winter.

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Plants→Pfeiffera→Pfeiffera boliviana

Botanical names:
Pfeiffera bolivianaAccepted
Rhipsalis bolivianaSynonym
Lepismium bolivianumSynonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Leaves: Evergreen
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: White
Other: Pale pink
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Suitable Locations: Houseplant
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Containers: Suitable for hanging baskets
Needs excellent drainage in pots

A hanging epiphytic cactus, with fairly long, spineless stems. The one I owned was a large mound, heavily branching. It made creamy-white flowers before dying. Stems are with 2 ribs (completely flat), undulate, with small areoles and dark green.

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Pfeiffera Species

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Pfeiffera
Species: ianthothele
Synonym:Lepismium ianthothele
Synonym:Pfeiffera erecta
Synonym:Pfeiffera gracilis
Synonym:Pfeiffera mataralensis
Synonym:Pfeiffera multigona


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater

Sun Exposure:


Foliage Color:




USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual


Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

From seed direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen clean and dry seeds

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Gardeners' Notes:

On Jun 24, 2006, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

More synonyms of this plant are Lepismium mataralense, Lepismium erectum, Lepismium erecta, Rhipsalis cereiformis, Pfeiffera ianthothele var. boliviana, Pfeiffera mataralensis, Pfeiffera erecta, Pfeiffera gracilis, Pfeiffera ianthothele var. tarijensis & Pfeiffera multigona.

Watch the video: Apresentação de 6 Espécies de Rhipsalis para identificação!!

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