What Are the Different Types of Flowering Cactus Plants?

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Easter cactus, Christmas cactus, rat's tail and orchid cactus are examples of flowering cactus plants. Nearly all cacti have the potential to flower upon reaching maturity, which differs from one type of cactus to the next.

The Easter cactus has bell-shaped flowers that bloom in pink or bright red. The cactus's name refers to its tendency to bloom around Easter time, particularly in the northern hemisphere. Similar to the Easter cactus, the Christmas cactus has leaves and stems that grow arched.

The Christmas cactus blooms around Easter in some hemispheres, but it primarily blooms from November through January. This Brazilian native prefers tropical conditions and tends to sprout vibrant amethyst- or crimson-hued floppy petals.

The rat's tail gets its name from its signature stems, which tend to grow haphazardly toward natural light sources and resemble rats' tails in thickness and color. Its stems can grow several feet, and its brownish spines are very sharp. The rat's tail blooms in spring, and its star-shaped flowers are typically bright bubblegum pink.

Several hybrid cacti claim the name orchid cactus, but the true orchid cactus is Disocactus ackermannii, formerly known as Epiphyllum ackermannii. Its telltale blooms are funnel-shaped and roughly 4 to 6 inches in length. This tropical cactus thrives on indirect sunlight and frequent watering.