Pereskia grandifolia Haw.
Cactus grandifolius, Pereskia rosea, Rhodocactus grandifolius
Pereskia grandifolia, also known as Rhodocactus grandifolius, is a shrubby cactus or small tree with a grayish-brown trunk and rounded crown of branches and leaves. It grows up to 16.4 feet (5 m) tall. The cushion-shaped areoles are grayish or brownish. The new branches can have spineless areoles, while the trunk areoles may have up to 90 black to brown, up to 2.6 inches (6.5 cm) long spines. Leaves are green, elliptic to ovate or obovate-lanceolate, and up to 9 inches (23 cm) long. The dense inflorescence develops at the ends of the stems.
The flowers are showy, usually pink or purplish but also white or tan, and up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. They appear in summer. Fruits are green, yellowish, or reddish-green when ripe, vary in size and shape, and contain many black seeds.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
As with many cacti, Pereskias can be almost ignored and still flourish. One of the major advantages these plants pose as houseplants is their ease, and overwatering or overfeeding them is a bigger danger than neglecting them because it can damage their roots. If you repot them, remember to leave them alone for a brief period to avoid overstressing them, and ensure to keep an eye out for common houseplant pests. Many of these cacti can't be grown as houseplants anyway due to their shrubby growth habit, and others are very rare, but when you find out, Pereskias can be good in cultivation.
They like dry conditions and don't need to be repotted often, but it is still a good idea to refresh their soil by occasionally repotting. Be careful when repotting any cactus so as not to get hurt by its sharp spines; lift the plant from its mix, and replace it in a new container before backfilling it with soil. Do not water for a few weeks after repotting.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Pereskia.
Pereskia grandifolia is native to northeastern Brazil.
- Back to genus Pereskia
- Succupedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus
Click on a photo to see a larger version.