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Pereskiopsis diguetii (Alfilerillo)


Scientific Name

Pereskiopsis diguetii (F. A. C. Weber) Britton & Rose

Common Names

Alfilerillo, Cola De Diablo, Nopaleta, Patilon, Tasajillo


Opuntia diguetii (basionym), Pereskiopsis spathulata, Pereskia spathulata, Opuntia spathulata, Pereskiopsis velutina, Grusonia diguetii

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Opuntioideae
Tribe: Cylindropuntieae
Genus: Pereskiopsis


Pereskiopsis diguetii, also known as Pereskiopsis spathulata, is a unique, densely shrubby cactus commonly used for grafting the seedlings of other slow-growing species, such as Lophophora, Astrophytum, and Ariocarpus. It is branched from base, up to 6.5 feet (2 m) tall, with woolly areoles and 1 or 2 whitish, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long spines. Leaves are elliptic-ovate, long-pointed, wedge-shaped at the base, and up to 2 inches (5 cm) long. It has yellow flowers up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) across. Fruits are orange to yellow, sometimes becoming red, up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) long, and up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) in diameter.


USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11b: from 35 °F (+1.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

As with just about every cactus, a lack of light will really harm them if you expect growth and continue to water them. You will wait for a long time if you do not have an artificial light source and humidity. Pereskiopsis live in very tropical, wet, and humid regions of Central and South America. This is easy to recreate with your grow light and indoor greenhouse set up. But you must be careful to allow air circulation. This is one of the number one killers of Pereskiopsis in general behind overwatering. If you have an indoor greenhouse, you can easily do this by opening up the tent for several hours a day and choosing one day a week in which it is open all day. You should have two angles for air circulation to navigate. No artificial fans need but can be helpful.

These cacti have the unique property of wanting more water. Don't make the common mistake, though, and most cacti would prefer if you watered them more. However, the soil, heat, and light you have are probably not enough to accommodate them. Even in their natural habitat, cacti would prefer more water than they receive. See more at How to Grow and Care for Pereskiopsis.


Pereskiopsis diguetii is native to Mexico.


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