Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Barbados Gooseberry
Pereskia aculeata

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Pereskia (per-ESS-kee-uh) (Info)
Species: aculeata (ah-kew-lee-AY-tuh) (Info)

Synonym:Peirescia aculeata
Synonym:Perescia aculeata
Synonym:Pereskia acardia
Synonym:Pereskia undulata
Synonym:Pereskia pereskia

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

7 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)
12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
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:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Flowers are fragrant

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 woody stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 21 photos.
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5 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive gregokla On Nov 27, 2013, gregokla from Hulbert, OK wrote:

I have been growing Pereskia aculeata since the late 90's. My botany professor acquired this "weed" during his travels and gave it to me. It is still quite wild. I believe it could be an attractive, botanical alternative to razor wire. I root it in peat moss (no hormone needed) and feed it with water-soluble fertilizer. It is a man-eater!

Positive sladeofsky On Apr 1, 2008, sladeofsky from Louisville, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

Believed to be the ancestral plant of all other cacti.

Positive beadfulheart On Oct 10, 2006, beadfulheart from Lake Charles, LA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I've heard this plant called both Mexican Lemon Cactus and Barbados Shrub. But whatever it is called it's a beautiful plant; easy to grow and very easy to propagate. My mother keeps hers cut back to more of a bush while I tend to let mine grow as it will. None of our plants, nor the parent plant as far as I know, has ever bloomed.

Mine was severely broken/damaged by hurricane rita and never seemed to do well after that. So I recently cut the remaining stems up and replanted. Its now 12+ young healthy plants. This plant seems to thrive in many diverse conditions... with my mother's 'over' care, my basic care and even my daughter's total neglect. The original plant, that all of ours came from, was brought out of Mexico in the early 60's and lived for many years in a nursery in Houston.

Neutral Xenomorf On Sep 8, 2006, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Another synonym of this plant is Cactus pereskia.

More common names are "Tsunya, Bugambilia Blanca, Camelia Blanca, Grosellero, Jasmn de Uvas, Leafy Cactus, Lemon Vine, Ramo de Novia, Rose Cactus & Surinam Gooseberry.

Positive dready On Jun 20, 2005, dready from warwick
Bermuda (Zone 11) wrote:

Pereskia aculeata grows well from seed collected from ripe fruits. It can be kept in shrub form, but left to it's own devices it will vine out. Having escaped from cultivation here in Bermuda it scrambles unnoticed through hedgerows until the masses of orange fruits appear in late winter. The fruit has a mild pleasant flavour and is great in jams, preserves and desserts.the spines are soft and can simply be wiped off, although they generally fall off the fruit when fully ripe.

Neutral cacti_lover On Feb 8, 2005, cacti_lover from Henderson, NV (Zone 9b) wrote:

Being a tropical cactus, it has a difficult time here in the desert, although mine is still alive after five years. It doesn't like the extreme heat or the cold. It can still rot if watered too much. I had to give it shade and bring it indoors when it gets above 105F or below 35F. It should do well in southern Cal. and the Gulf coast.

Positive nosaradaniel On Aug 28, 2004, nosaradaniel from Nosara

P. aculenta is not a vine, it is actually a wax rose, which is
the same family but a different plant: Perescia bleo.

Origin: tropical America. It is a member of the Cactus family
and therefore has spiny stems. One of the most attractive for
use in gardens, it can grow to 3 metres in height but can also
be kept pruned into a bushy shrub; it has woody stems, fleshy, pale green leaves, and creamy orange to pinkish flowers followed by funny yellow fruit (see pics). Pereskia likes full sun and dry conditions. Propagation is by means of cuttings.

Neutral Monocromatico On Nov 12, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This is an uncommon cactus, a climber with real, fleshy leaves. The spines are present though (not like P. grandiflora, where there are only vestiges of spines), and they are quite rough. One can use this to cover fences, for safetys sake. The flower is flat, pink to white, very attractive.


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

Chandler Heights, Arizona
Mesa, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Canoga Park, California
Hayward, California
Los Angeles, California
San Marino, California
Brooksville, Florida
Delray Beach, Florida
Loxahatchee, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Worcester, Massachusetts
Walnut Grove, Missouri
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Peggs, Oklahoma
San Juan, Puerto Rico

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