Christmas cactus: 'Crab leg orchid'
Updated 15:41, 21-Nov-2020
By Xu Chenlu

When talking about cactus, many might think of a greenish plant with many spines that can survive in the desert. Actually, not every cactus is like that; for example, the Christmas cactus, a cactus that has a flowering period essentially covering Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's.

The natural habitats of the Christmas cactus are subtropical or tropical moist forests. Its flower produces at the tip of each hanging branch, which is made up of flat green segments. As the segments of the branches look like crab legs, the flower is called "crab leg orchid" in Chinese. Its flowers are red, white, yellow and pink and the entire flowering period can last for about four months, from November to February.

Though the plant is attractive, it is actually somewhat difficult to take care if you really own one. First, as a tropical plant, its growth needs moisture and sunlight. However, too much direct sunlight might burn the leaves, it only needs to be placed with adequate sunlight. Besides, the plant requires frequent and thorough watering, especially in spring and summer. But overwatering would get the stem rot and eventually die. Therefore, keeping such a plant requires time and patience.

(All images via VCG)

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