Last Updated: December 30, 2020

A year ago this week I was short-cutting through the garden section of my local Lowes when I ran across a rack of little 4″ Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii) all marked down to $1 and slated for the dumpster that evening. Other than being unmarked and a little abused, they looked fine, so I grabbed a dozen and gave all but one to friends and family over the holidays.

The one I kept joined some of my other plants under the skylight in the family room and proceeded to happily grow throughout the year. A couple of weeks ago it started to show signs of flowering, but it wasn’t until yesterday morning that it decided to start the show.

And boom! There it was, half a dozen lipstick red flowers giving the Christmas decor around it a run for its money. Better yet, as the flowers have opened, they’ve revealed a candy-stripe pink and white interior, stamens on translucent pink filaments and capped with bright white anthers.

Flower of a Schlumbergera bridgesii

If you look at flower from the top, it’s almost as if the stamens are casting light back on the petals like a pink lampshade. That’s interesting because the flowers are downward-facing so the only way to see this is in nature would be from below.