This species grows naturally on trees and rocks in Mexico.
It was brought from America to Europe in the early 18th cen- (syn. Cereus flagelliformis) tury (some authors claim it arrived as early as the late 17th century). Its long-standing popularity as a house plant is undoubtedly due to its unusual shape, for it has slenderabout 2 cm across and up to 1 m (39 in) long. These are longitudinally ribbed with areoles spaced 3-7 mm apart and terminated by 15-20 reddish-brown spines. In early spring the areoles on two-year-old stems produce zygomorphic , 7-10 cm (3-4 in) long and coloured reddish-violet.
It looks very attractive placed high up on a shelf, cupboard or in a hanging. It thrives if it is transferred outdoors in May to a balcony or windowbox. Water abundantly in summer. It requires a nourishing with an admixture of peat. Repot only infrequently and when essential.