Seed of the Week: Pereskiopsis Cactus

Our mystery fruit from last week were from an unusual cactus in the genus Pereskiopsis.


Pereskiopsis are unusual because they are cacti that have leaves.  They are like all other cacti in that they have glochids (tiny spines) and areoles.

mystery-fruit-218You can see the clusters of glochids on the fruit.

pereskiopsis-flowerThe flowers are lovely, but short lived. In our yard they bloom in the afternoon and are gone the next day.

People who grow cacti often use pereskiopsis for root stock and graft other cacti to it. Because it is tropical in origin, the plants can withstand humidity and more frequent watering than other cacti.

One of our botany friends gave us this specimen and I’m not sure of the species. It is such an interesting plant, I’m not sure why more people don’t grow it.

Do you know what species this is? Have you ever grown a Pereskiopsis?


  1. Sebastian Cherian

    Dear Roberta,

    I really enjoyed your post. I too wonder why most people don’t grow these beauties. I collect all types of cacti and succulents. I recently got 5 cuttings of Pereskiopsis. Two cuttings are from one plant and three from another. I don’t know if they are the same species or not. They haven’t flowered for the person who gave them to me. So I was wondering if you can give me any tips on making them flower. Happy growing.

    Eagerly awaiting your reply

    Yours faithfully


  2. Roberta


    How long have your plants been growing? I think ours were in about two years before they flowered.

    Ours are outside in a sunny location and they flower in the summer. I noticed a flower on one a few days ago, but it usually flowers in July.

    Pereskiopsis does require more water than other cacti and succulents. With the bigger leaves, you can tell it needs water because it looks wilted.

    Otherwise, they seem to require little care.

    Good luck!

  3. Vin

    Hello, I am a pereskiopsis enthusiast and I have been trying to get mine to produce fruit/seed. Have you successfully gotten seed from the fruit? Do all flowers give fruit or just some? How do you think it’s pollinated and where are you located? Hope you don’t mind all the questions. Pereskiopsis are the best!

  4. Roberta

    Pereskiopsis are indeed very cool plants. Ours make the funky orange fruit readily. I haven’t found seeds yet, but frankly it is hard to look for seeds because the fruit are so covered with spines. We are in the Sonoran Desert and the flowers are visited by our local bees.

  5. Esther Stanley

    I think I do have one of the varieties. The buds are there in both the plants. The flowers are orange. I did have a similar variety and the flowers were light pink. I live in Chennai Tamilnadu, India

  6. Emily Diebold

    Thanks for sharing!. I’ve never seen a Pereskiopsis fruit before, even in pictures. The Pereskiopsis I’m most familiar with, P. spathulata, is used as a graft stock to speed cactus seedling growth. It’s by far the most common in cultivation

    Yours is likely not P. spathulata, because this species rarely, if ever flowers. I’ve never seen a reliable firsthand account of one flowering, and I suspect they lost the ability to flower somewhere along the way

    Your plant could be P. diguetii or P. porteri. They seem to be more common in collections than some Pereskiopsis and both have yellow flowers

  7. Esther Stanley

    Now I have buds in my pink coloured pereskiopsis. It’s a cutting I took from my brother in laws house. Maximum five month old plant in a pot.

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