Rhipsalis is a genus of epiphytic cacti. They are typically known as mistletoe cacti. The scientific name derives from the Ancient Greek term for wickerwork, referring to the plants' habitus. Rhipsalis is one is part of the tribe Rhipsalideae within the subfamily Cactoideae of the Cactaceae. It is the largest and most widely distributed genus of epiphytic cacti.The genus was described by Joseph Gaertner in 1788. But when he described the plant, he had in fact not realised it was a cactus. Instead, he assumed to have found a new species of Cassytha, a parasitic laurel. Hence, Cassytha is often indicated as a generic synonym for Rhipsalis, although this is not the case, since this generic name had been applied for a completely different genus in a different plant family.
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