Pereskia Grandiflora  –  Cactus Rose

Plant of the Month

Pereskia Grandiflora  –  Cactus Rose


The Pereskias are a family of primitive cacti comprising 16 varieties.  They grow as trees, climbers or shrubs and are found in Florida, Mexico, Central America, tropical regions of South America where they grow in forests under the shade canopy.  The shrub form generally reaches a height of 1m, whilst climbers and trees can grow to 5 – 20m. It is a long-lived perennial whose soft thorny branches will, over time, take on the appearance of hardened wood.

Some Pereskia grow from rhizomes.  They generally have long oval leaves but there are types with a round leaf.  They are evergreen except for some varieties that shed their leaves during periods of dormancy.  Their flowers resemble wild roses and can be found in single or double format.

Pereskias withstand damp much more readily than other forms of cactus and if grafted on to Zygocactus root stock can form miniature trees.

Pereskia grandiflora : Cactus Rose

Native to south east Brazil this is a shrub or small tree.  It is usually used as a decorative tree which can grow to 2 – 5m.  Its grey/brown trunk can reach a diameter of 20cm.

On the trunk and branches small round areas can be seen (these are specific to cactus) which on the branches will be 3 – 5mm, but can be up to 12mm on the trunk, from which brown feathery hairs are produced which eventually become thorns.  From one such area on the trunk as many as 90 thorns each 3-5cm in length may appear.

Pereskia grandiflora can be treated as all other cactus, it does not need any special care.  It likes lots of light and can be grown from seed or cuttings.  All pereskias are tender and will not withstand any frost.  In places where frost is expected they should not be planted directly in the garden.

All our plants featured in our Plant of the Month articles are available from The Palm Centre which  is open 1st June – 31st October but you can visit at any other time by appointment. 


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