Christmas Cactus

Plants are offered for sale under a variety of common names. The earliest English common name was “Christmas cactus”. In Europe, where plants are largely produced for sale in the period before Christmas, this remains the most widely used common name in many languages for cultivars of all groups (e.g. Weihnachtskaktus in German,[22] cactus de Noël in French,[23] and cacto de Navidad in Spanish[24]). This is also the name used in Canada.[25] In the United States, where plants are produced for the Thanksgiving holiday in November, the name “Thanksgiving cactus” is used; “Christmas cactus” may then be restricted to cultivars of the Buckleyi Group,[26] particularly the very old cultivars such as ‘Buckleyi’.[25] The name “crab cactus” (referring to the clawed ends of the stems) is also used for the Truncata Group.[27] “link cactus” is another common name, describing the way that the stems of the genus as a whole are made up of linked segments.[25] The name “chain cactus” is common in New Zealand, and may also refer to Hatiora species