Schlumbergera x buckleyi

Schlumbergera x buckleyi.


Commonly called the Christmas Cactus this is a natural hybrid of S. russelliana and S. truncata.
Branching erect then pendulous segmented stems are around 50 cm long.
Most of the stem is green with flattened segments but the base may be round and become brown.
The obovate or oblong segments (cladodes or phylloclades) are around 3 to 4 cm long and 2 cm wide.
They have no sharp teeth but a smooth scalloped edge with areoles in the notch axils.

There are 1 or 2 drooping flowers at the end of the stems.
Flowers are radially symmetric or only slightly bilaterally asymmetric.
The tepal and stamen filament bases are fused into a tube or hypanthium.
The free lower tepals (sepals) are around 1 cm long.
The rest, up to 3 cm long have their bases fused into a floral tube and their free tips curve backwards.
All the tepals are pink to red.

The numerous stamens, with purplish anthers are in the usual 2 whorls.
The purplish style, up to 5 cm long passes through and extends past the stamen tube.
The surface of the greenish-purple ovary is ribbed.

Schlumbergera russelliana.

The erect then arching much-branched stems can be up to 1 m long.
Stems have a round brown base with the rest being green and flattened.
The stems are jointed with segments only around 1 to 2 cm long.
Segments have 2 teeth on the end and 1 or 2 small blunt teeth each side.
Areoles in the notch axils may be bare or have 1 or 2 bristles.
The terminal flowers, around 5 cm long are radially symmetric.
The tepals are dark pink to a reddish-purple.

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Schlumbergera cultivars.

Plants seen may be Schlumbergera truncata but most are its cultivars with Schlumbergera x buckleyi which
    is itself a cross between S. russelliana and S. truncata.
Cultivars may then be crossed with the above or with other newer cultivars
    forming plants with very complex, and at times unknown parentage.

There are hundreds of cultivars that can be divided into groups based on which parent they most resemble.
The 2 main groups are the Truncata and Buckleyi Groups.

The Truncata Group have pointed teeth on the stem segments and asymmetric flowers with yellow pollen that are held at or
    above the horizontal plane.

Cultivars in the Buckleyi Group have some features of S. russelliana which is one parent of Schlumbergera x buckleyi.
They have rounded teeth on the stem segments, more symmetric flowers that are held below the horizontal plane and pink pollen.

Tepal colours are often pastel shades of pink orange yellow cream salmon lavender or darker reds purple or magenta as well as white.
The base, middle and end sections may be different colours with sharp or diffuse borders between them and the edges are sometimes frilled.