One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any plant of the genus Rhipsalis, comprising epiphytic, often pendulous cacti with flexuous, interlacing branches and translucent white berries, mostly native to tropical America, but including R. baccifera, the only cactus known to occur naturally in the Old World; also called mistletoe cactus. Also (in form Rhipsalis): the genus itself.
Early 19th century. From scientific Latin Rhipsalis, genus name from ancient Greek ῥίψ wickerwork, mat, of unknown origin + classical Latin -ālis.
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