You can see exactly why this plant is known as fishbone cactus. It’s also called zig zag cactus or rik rak cactus for the same reason. Those wiggly stems are irresistible. It originally comes from Mexico, where it’s usually found dangling from the branches of large trees in hot, humid forests.
It’s a quick grower in the right conditions and its tendrils will grow as long as you let them. If it’s very happy, it should flower in autumn, producing beautiful, heavily scented blossoms. Those flowers only come out after dark and live for just one night, which is quite fantastically romantic and dramatic of them. In the wild it grows edible fruit, which tastes a bit like kiwi fruit. The chances of one fruiting outside the jungle are very slim, but you never know.
If you decide to grow it on a shelf rather than in a hanging pot, make sure it’s a heavy one. You need something strong enough to hold the weight of all those amazing stems.
Did you know?
The fishbone cactus was first introduced to the UK way back in 1846.