Etymology -From the Greek dis, meaning twice or double, which refers to the fact that both outer and inner flower segments are of the same length.Disocactus is a genus consisting of mainly epiphytic, though sometimes lithophytic, species that grow in tropical jungles rather than deserts. With the majority of species occurring in Central America and Southern Mexico, however some extend into northern South America and even onto the Caribbean islands. There is a good deal of variation in both the stems and flowers of species included in this genus, leaving the taxonomy of Disocactus contested by many. Other genus name that are frequently used today for certain species included here by default are Ackermannia, Nopalxochia, and Wittia.
Stems may be long, flattened and leaf-like - very closely resembling those in the genus Epiphyllum. Others have cylindrical and spiny stems. Flowers for the most part are large, colorful, and funnel shaped and this genus is largely responsible for many of the popular "Epi" hybrids. Other flowers are more narrow and bilaterally symmetrical and some are even small and tube shaped.
Certain species of Disocactus have persisted cultivation for over 100 years and have been passed down by "aunts and grandmothers" for generations. This is especially true with D. ackermannii and D. phyllanthoides, however, some of them may be very early hybrids and not the actual species.