Difference Between Christmas Cactus and Thanksgiving Cactus (With Table)

The two cacti and cactus of Christmas are epiphytes, naturally growing on trees in Brazil’s rainforests. They are strongly linked to these same features. Thanksgiving Cactus and Christmas cactus both come within the Schlumbergera genus. Each of these succulents came from the period of the year when they blossom characteristic of North America. They are often called holiday cactus together and even individually.

Christmas Cactus vs Thanksgiving Cactus

The difference between Christmas cactus and Thanksgiving cactus is that the Christmas cactus has a flat body and the leaves are the twigs of the plant whereas the Thanksgiving cactus plant kind contains stems (in fact, its leaves) which then grow erect. The blooms of this cactus widen horizontally from the end of the stalk, it should be noted.

The Christmas cactus has large and flat, smaller and rounder segmented leaves than the other cactuses. During the holiday season, the blossoms flourish and appear on the tip of the trunk. In contrast to other plants, Christmas cactus blooms remain long visible. Flowers vary in colours from vivid red to milder white. Flowers are colourful. The flowers normally flower in cooler weather around December and need to water effectively in gloomy surroundings.

The Thanksgiving cactus has wide segmented leaves on both sides with tightened (jagged) edges. The clamped rims become dots. Each side has 2-4 points. (In the imaginative titles Crab Claw Cactus or Claw Cactus the unique claw-like pointing projections.) With one point on either side, the end of the last section is somewhat concave.

Comparison Table Between Christmas Cactus and Thanksgiving Cactus

 Parameters of Comparison Christmas Cactus Thanksgiving Cactus
Scientific nameSchlumbergera bridgessiiSchlumbergera truncata
  PetalsEven distribution of petalsAsymmetrical distribution of petals
  GrowthGrows straight, but the stems arch as they developStems grow upright
Blooming periodAfter ChristmasAfter Thanksgiving
LeavesLobes of leaves are roundedLobes of leaves are pointed which looks like bird claws

What is Christmas Cactus?

Schlumbergera bridgesii is the scientific name for the Christmas cactus. It has a flat body, and the leaves are the plant’s stems, which is an interesting feature. The blossoms bloom and appear on the tip of the trunk throughout the holiday season. Unlike other plants, Christmas cactus blossoms last for a long time. Flowers range in colour from bright crimson to a more subdued white. Flowers are colourful. The flowers normally flower in cooler weather around December and need to flower effectively in gloomy surroundings.

The Christmas cactus has rounded leaf lobes and an even distribution of petals. The plant is rarely sold on the market as stems break readily and make transportation difficult. The blooms are often red or white, but sometimes yellow. Typically in December, the flowering time is. There are purplish-brown anthers on the Christmas Cactus. The Gracesgiving Cactus, by contrast, has yellow anthers. Symmetrical flowers are spread equally around each tube of flowers. The blooms are pendular and fall directly from the ovary.

It begins to grow erect, but the stalks are hanging down as they mature. Schlumbergera bridgesii, true Christmas cactus, is seldom commercially accessible. However, the Christmas Cactus can spread, therefore cuttings can be obtained from someone who has a Cactus.

What is Thanksgiving Cactus?

The cactus is named Schlumbergera truncate in scientific terms. This sort of plant has stems that grow erect and arched (really its leaves). The blossoms of this cactus, which grow horizontally from the stalk’s extremity, are worth noting. Magenta, fuchsia, red, rose, lavender, yellow, orange, and white Thanksgiving cacti flowers are among the many colours available. Thanksgiving, in November, is usually when the flowers bloom.

The difference of the Thanksgiving-based cactus is pointy, bird-like lobes of leaves and the asymmetric flower-petal distribution. Often in shops and supermarkets during the vacation season, this cactus is accessible.
These blooms are pink, red, white, or yellow; during November, they flourish. The thanksgiving cacti are yellow, while on Christmas cactus they are crimson-brown. Thanksgiving cactus blooms, protruding from the ovary and horizontally stretching out from the points of the stump segments.

The Thanksgiving Cactus stems grow straight or upright. The Christmas Cactus rises but then falls farther. Thanksgiving Cactus will be labelled as Zygocactus commercially. While Zygocactus still emerge, the term for Schlumbergera had been formally abandoned decades ago. The Cactus and Cactus of Thanksgiving have both been formally classed as Schlumbergera since the 1950s.

Main Differences Between Christmas Cactus and Thanksgiving Cactus

  1. The scientific name for Christmas cactus is “Schlumbergera bridgesii,” whereas the scientific name for Thanksgiving cactus is “Schlumbergera truncate”.
  2. The Christmas cactus petals have an even distribution of petals, whereas the Thanksgiving cactus petals have an uneven distribution.
  3. The Christmas cactus starts to grow straight, but the stems arch as they develop in contrast to the Thanksgiving cactus stems grow upright.
  4. In Christmas cactus lobes of leaves are rounded, whereas in Thanksgiving cactus lobes of leaves are pointed, which also looks like bird claws.
  5. The Christmas cactus blooms in December in cold weather, whereas the Thanksgiving cactus blooms in November.


The term “alliance” comes from the fact that both cacti thrive around the holidays. Cactus flowers bloom during Christmas time, in December, and around Thanksgiving time, in November. In terms of commercial availability, Christmas cactus is hard to come by since it is tough to transport, but cactus Thanksgiving is widely available in stores and supermarkets.

It can be determined that the two cactus originate from the same cactus family. Both have their various scientific names, which have their popular names according to the flowering season. Many old stories offer a cause to donate these cactus to their celebrations. However, many people consider Christmas as a sign of festive communion and thankfulness as a symbol of hardiness and pure love.


  1. https://difference.guru/difference-between-a-christmas-cactus-and-a-thanksgiving-cactus/
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schlumbergera
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