Schlumbergera is a genus of 6 known tree-dwelling cacti from Brazil. These are the tropical rainforest epiphytes, growing on tree branches where, despite the high rainfall, water drains off quickly so that "dry" conditions prevail much of the time. Not surprisingly these cacti are quite different in appearance to their desert dwelling cousins. They are named after Frédéric Schlumberger, french, who was the owner of a famous plant collection.
This genus contains the popular Schlumbergera truncata, also known as Thanksgiving Cactus, frequently mislabeled Christmas Cactus, which may flower in white, pink, red or purple. The Easter Cactus or Whitsun cactus (Hatiora gaertneri) which produces vivid scarlet flowers belongs to Hatiora genus.
The stems of Schlumbergera resemble leaf like pads joined one to the other and the flowers appear from areoles at the tips. In addition, the plant is diurnal and will close up its flowers at night.