Dancing Bones Cactus, Drunkard's Dream, Spice Cactus

Hatiora salicornioides

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hatiora (hat-ee-OR-uh) (Info)
Species: salicornioides (sal-eye-korn-ee-OY-deez) (Info)
Synonym:Hatiora salicornioides var. salicornioides
Synonym:Rhipsalis salicornioides
Synonym:Cactus salicornioides
Synonym:Hariota salicornioides
Synonym:Cactus lyratus


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

This plant is suitable for growing indoors


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade



Bloom Color:


Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Winter


Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:


Brea, California

Carlsbad, California

Casa De Oro-mount Helix, California

Clayton, California

Garden Grove, California

San Diego, California

Santa Maria, California

Vista, California

Bartow, Florida

Clermont, Florida

Deland, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Wellborn, Florida

Mililani, Hawaii

Westmoreland, New Hampshire

Brevard, North Carolina

Conway, South Carolina

Monterey, Tennessee

Houston, Texas

Richmond, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Airway Heights, Washington

Shoreline, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 4, 2015, Mark_B from Garden Grove, CA wrote:

A tough, but pretty plant, well-suited to Southern California (zone 10). Grows faster than most rhipsalis, and thick, too. Does well in 35-40 deg. F. winters. It's a dark green, when you know it's healthy and happy.


On Nov 11, 2009, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Lovely trailer. Very tough too. Easy, not too demanding at all


On Nov 6, 2009, Shrubman88 from Westmoreland, NH (Zone 4b) wrote:

Just received a piece of this plant from a friend, so nice too know
what it is, and how too keep it growing well. Will post a better picture once it takes.


On Feb 19, 2009, mjsponies from DeLand/Deleon Springs, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I've just now found out what this plant was too.
Love it, it's easy, gives me these little pretty yellow blooms twice a year.


On Nov 15, 2006, isom from Mission BC
Canada (Zone 8b) wrote:

This seems to grow easily with little attention. I find that some plants, such as many succulents, thrive on neglect. I had the tiniest piece I picked up from the plant section of a grocery store. It had broken off & looked a little wilted but I try starting such plants, almost like a challenge to see what will happen.

It's been in the same shallow container as 2 earth stars & a few pieces of burro's tails, also rescues & all have thrived. I had no idea what this plant was so did a search on Google among succulent photos. I never expected my tiny plant to be a Dancing Bone cactus & am glad to know it is! I've now had it for 10 months & it's grown enough to be recognisable as such. As it grows bigger, I'll carefully put it in its own pot. From a tiny piece just over 1/2 inch ... read more


On Jul 16, 2006, Pashta from Moncks Corner, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:

I also recently found out what this plant is, thats to the lovely folks down at the ID forums. :) I bought this plant almost 16 years ago and gave it to my grandmother to fix. It has flourished, and now I am going to take some home with me to NC, where I think it will do very well. It seems hearty, and the cats dont bother to eat it which is another plus. It gets plenty of bright indirect light, and average water for a succulent. Beyond that, its going to be a learning experience. :)


On Mar 11, 2006, spaceman_spiff from Saint Petersburg, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Wow, I'm happy to finally find out the identity* of this plant, after having one for about 10 years. Mine is now blooming for only the 2nd time since I've owned it. However, unlike some of the other posts here, which mention at least certain parts of the plant growing upward, mine strictly hangs downward. I'll add some photos to the photo section.

*Thanks to the Identification forum!


On Jan 9, 2006, docturf from Conway, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have had my Dancing Bones cactus for almost 8 years now. It is in an eight inch clay pot and kept outside in the late spring, summer and early fall -- then it is moved inside for the winter, where it gets only minimal sunlight. It usually blooms twice each year, but only when I let it dry out severely; this seems to stimulate flowering. Very little fertilizer is used -- perhaps 2 or 3 times per year with a soluble fertilizer such as Peters or Miracle Grow with high phosphorus. My location is coastal South Carolina.
ps: it is blooming right now (1-9-06).docturf


On Jan 8, 2006, Pinguicula from Yelm, WA (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant is great! I received a small plant from a neighbor in Oct and it's already in bloom. I can tell I'm going to be repotting it fairly often though, as fast as it fills it's pot.
My neighbor keeps hers in a sunroom all winter and on her porch all summer. Mine has just been hanging in my windowsill.


On Dec 7, 2004, Homer_Edwina from Hanover, NH wrote:

Positive until recently, that is. I think I might have overwatered it. It bloomed in the summer but then sort of distintegrated and I have some cuttings in a pot now. They are just about hanging in there and maybe I should repot them into a shallower container and mix in some sand?


On Aug 1, 2004, stimmins from Beaconsfield, QC (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have had this plant 3 years now, but it has never 'bloomed' for me. I've only today come across this site and pictures confirming my plant is called a 'drunkard's dream'. It was about 6-8 inches when I first got it and is now approx a foot long in some places. Some of the leaves closer to the base of the pot are 'fatter' in shape and appear to look like what are shown in the site's pictures as blooms, yet they have never bloomed or changed colours. I don't feel it has grown much in the 3 years I've had it, and have tried it in different spots to see what improvements, if any, that might do. It receives mid to bright, but indirect, light. Anyone had ideas as to why it hasn't bloomed????

PS: looking forward to discovering what this site has to offer!


On Sep 18, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

Ive witnessed this cactus in its original habitat recently, on a humid tropical forest. Its really a curious plant. Looks like Rhipsalis (Mistletoe Cactus), but tougher. Too bad I arrived too early there and didnt see the flowers open, but for what I was told, its really beautiful.


On Sep 18, 2003, miseryschild from Monterey, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

When I bought mine, the nursery called a Mistletoe Cactus. It is so weird looking it's cute. Mine hasn't bloomed yet, but is growing great!! It is getting what looks like little white hairs right on it's tips.


On Mar 17, 2003, ideboda from T-village ;) - Friesland
Netherlands (Zone 6a) wrote:

This really is a strong succulent. Without a lot of care for 15 years (from 1984 on), I kept it alive in ordinary potting soil mixed with some sand in a tiny little pot together with another succulent which was much bigger and died after 15 years. (I still don't know why I didn't replant them ever, probably because my windowsill has always been too small.)

When the other plant had died, I replanted my "Dancing Bones Cactus" (never heard this name until today, but very suitable) in a slightly bigger pot and it's about 30 cm tall now, with the main stem growing upward and the others hanging down from the pot.

In the above plant description, propagation is said to be best from seed, but I never saw any seed though it flowers profusely most winters. I got it as ... read more