Lepismium saxatile Friedrich & Redecker N C and S J (1965) p57 by Curt Backeberg

Reduced to synonymy under Rhipsalis dissimilis f. dissimilis Barthlott and Taylor Bradleya 13

Desc from protologue in NC&SJ p57 (1965)

  • Plant - shrubby. terrestrial especially among rocks, up to 50cm. in height, when creeping l.50 to 2 metres long;
  • Stems - 5-20 cm. long. 4 - l0 mm. in diameter either bare or with bristles. ending in many branches;
  • Joints - up to 14 in number. often only 2. brightish to dark-green:
  • Ribs - about 7. more or less raised, often twisted
  • Areoles - on bare branches somewhat distant. those on bristly branches being closer together.
  • Flowering areoles - have whitish wool and 10 - 15 bristles, 6 - 7 mm. long. at first whitish to yellowish, afterwards becoming black:
  • Flowers - white (in the dry state pale yellow). inserted, about 15 (- 18) mm. in diameter:
  • Outer perianth segments - 5 mm. long. 3 mm. wide. obtuse,
  • Inner perianth segments - lanceolate. 9 mm. long. 5 mm. wide.
  • Filaments. - style and stigma white:
  • Fruit - fleshy. 8 - 10 mm. in diameter,
  • Seeds - black

Habitat - Brazil (Sao Paulo. by upland streams. central Tiete)

This species is obviously endemic and always grows together with Bromeliads. Hitherto it has
been found in an area of only about 5 acres. The buds arise from a ring of white wool in
which they are inserted and after the flowers have fallen a pit remains as is typical of
Lepismium. This can be readily seen in, for instance, L. megalanthum. The outside of the
outer perianth segments is brownish yellow with a darker midstripe. Sometimes the faded
flowers are canary yellow.

Lepismium saxatile is a striking species of almost cereoid habit. but with typical characters of
Lepismium, it seems to be related to L. epiphyllanthoides Backeberg which has larger (3cm
diam.) yellowish flowers and shorter limbed joints. This, too, is terrestrial, growing in tuff
-holes in Southern Brazil, along with such striking plants as Pseudozygocactus epiphylloides
var. bradei Backeberg & Voll. with small. white, terminal, rhipsaloid flowers and tiny
lingulate limbs. After many years I have been able to get for the first time again living
material of this rare species through the kindness of Dr. Friedrich, Salto. who also discovered
L. saxatile. I have also seen living material grown by a collector who received a specimen
from Mr. G. Redecker of Tubingen and who gave the first description although without name,
as cited above. For this reason I have described the new Lepismium with Dr. Friedrich and
Mr Redecker as co-authors.

Holotype deposited in Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. November 1965.