Ric rac cactus is an easy to grow, epiphytic plant native to the humid rainforests of Southern Mexico. The plant produces long, 2-3’ (.6-.9m), zig-zag shaped, flat foliage that resembles the decorative sewing trim known as ric rac (rick rack). Mature plants produce fragrant flowers with purple petals and creamy white inner bracts. The blooms are big, from 5-6” (12-15cm) in diameter, but they last just one day. This is a night blooming cactus with flowers that open in late afternoon or evening and close by morning.
It’s always best to refer to a plant’s botanical classification for proper identification. The ric rac cactus was previously classified as the genus and species, Cryptocereus anthonyanus. Its common names include “ric rac”, “zig zag”, and “fishbone” cactus. Those are the same common names used for another plant with similar foliage; Disocactus anguliger (previously known as Epiphyllum anguliger). The overlapping use of the same common names is a source of great confusion when it comes to plant identification.
Looks great grown in containers and hanging baskets. Perfect for growing on a lightly shaded deck, patio, or porch during warm weather. Ric rac cactus can be grown outdoors in the summer and brought back inside when temperatures are expected to fall below 50°F (10°C). Can be grown outdoors year-round in frost-free climates, in a pot or in the ground.