This cactus doesn't just have roses

March 23, 2013 – 12:16 pm

Species name: Pereskia bleo

Common name: rose cactus, leaf cactus

Location: Dominican Republic

This species of rose cactus (there are 17 species in the genus, all of which carry the common name "rose cactus") is native to the Caribbean basin, from Panama south to Colombia. It has been spread throughout Central America and the Caribbean Islands as an ornamental species, and it is now incredibly popular in gardens and as landscaping plants around hotels. I saw this plant at the farm we went to, and weren't given much information (if any; I was a straggler at the back of the group because of my compulsive picture-taking) about it. It's unfortunate; the people living there probably would know more about the plant than even Wikipedia does!

Surprisingly enough, this plant is a true cactus. You don't have to tell me it looks nothing like what you would picture to be a "cactus" because I most certainly agree with you. Unfortunately, we would both be wrong no matter how adamant we were about this not being a cactus; DNA sequence data tells us it is in the cactus family. Ah, well. Better luck next time to us! :) The genus can be split into two groups called clades, where each clade is a group of species that are most closely related to each other than they are to any other member of the other clade. Each clade has a very interesting characteristic that can be used to define members of that clade: geographic distribution. ative to the land around the Caribbean Sea, from Mexico south to Venezuela (and also some species native to Hispaniola, the island that is made up of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, as well as Cuba, Jamaica, and the Dutch Antilles). via, Paraguay, and Peru. The one exception to this rule is in clade B where we find the species P. aculeata which is native to a huge area from Mexico all the way south to Argentina. One thing that all of these species have in common is that they don't tolerate full sun very well; they much prefer to be found in shady areas. If exposed to full sun they will more than likely lose all their leaves and turn into a bush of sticks. This definitely won't kill the plant; the stems are green and they would be able to manufacture sugars using the energy of the sun quite easily (photosynthesis). They won't, however, flower or be anything fancy to look at. Best to plant it where it receives at least shading from a building or tree.


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Sounds like you will be traveling...

I suggest you have a live flower sent to their home to arrive just before you get there... something like an azalea or a Thanksgiving cactus plant, or a Christmas Cactus plant.
While there, I recommend you be very active in helping prepare meals, serve and clean up after the meals.
Offer to do things like peeling the potatoes, set the table, etc.
Since you are going to be there for 4 days, offer to run the vacuum before guests arrive, etc.
Offer to make quick trips to the grocery store as you see the need.
If there are children in the family, help entertain the children to give their parents a break

Christmas Cactus Unrooted Cuttings 'Lavender' Variety
Lawn & Patio ()
  • Easy to Grow.
  • A holiday and year round favorite.
  • Buds bloom from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
  • Three healthy unrooted cuttings are 2-4 segments each.
  • Roots can take 4 to 6 weeks to grow.

Related posts:

  1. Thanksgiving cactus Problems
  2. Thanksgiving Cactus Soil Type
  3. Thanksgiving cactus red leaves
  4. Thanksgiving Cactus Dropping Leaves