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Useful Tropical Plants

Pereskia aculeata

Mill.

Cactaceae

+ Synonyms

Cactus pereskia L.

Pereskia pereskia Karst.

Common Name: Barbados Gooseberry

Pereskia aculeata
Fruiting plant, growing in native habitat
Photograph by: João Medeiros
Creative Commons License
Pereskia aculeata Pereskia aculeata Pereskia aculeata Pereskia aculeata Pereskia aculeata Pereskia aculeata Pereskia aculeata Pereskia aculeata Pereskia aculeata

General Information

Barbados gooseberry is an erect, spiny woody shrub when young, becoming, with age, scrambling or climbing and vine-like, with stems up to 10 metres long that may shroud a large tree[
336
Title
Fruits of Warm Climates
Publication
 
Author
Morton. J.
Publisher
Florida Flair books, Florida.
Year
1987
ISBN
0961018410
Description
A very well written guide to about 125 species.
]. Although the plant is a cactus, it is not easily recognised as such since it is not succulent and has leaves[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
The plant is seldom found truly wild but is frequently grown as an ornamental or occasionally for its fruits in the American tropics, Bermuda, California, Hawaii, Israel, the Philippines, India and Australia[
336
Title
Fruits of Warm Climates
Publication
 
Author
Morton. J.
Publisher
Florida Flair books, Florida.
Year
1987
ISBN
0961018410
Description
A very well written guide to about 125 species.
]. There are some named varieties[
336
Title
Fruits of Warm Climates
Publication
 
Author
Morton. J.
Publisher
Florida Flair books, Florida.
Year
1987
ISBN
0961018410
Description
A very well written guide to about 125 species.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.

Range

S. America - coastal northern South America, West Indies and Panama.

Habitat

Naturalised in thickets besides railways near sea level in southern China[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Climber
Height10.00 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental

Cultivation Details

A plant of hot, tropical climates with medium to high rainfall.
Requires a well-drained soil. An easily grown plant, flourishing with little or no care, the plant is drought-tolerant and suffers from over-watering[
336
Title
Fruits of Warm Climates
Publication
 
Author
Morton. J.
Publisher
Florida Flair books, Florida.
Year
1987
ISBN
0961018410
Description
A very well written guide to about 125 species.
]. Under high light intensity, it can be kept erect and compact; under low light, it grows higher, with ascending stems and the leaves are larger and thinner[
336
Title
Fruits of Warm Climates
Publication
 
Author
Morton. J.
Publisher
Florida Flair books, Florida.
Year
1987
ISBN
0961018410
Description
A very well written guide to about 125 species.
]. Prefers a pH in the range 6 - 7.5[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
The plant has been widely introduced into tropical areas, where it has often escaped from cultivation[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
]. Gardeners had to give up the plant in South Africa in 1979 when it was banned as an illegal weed because it had been invading and overwhelming natural vegetation[
336
Title
Fruits of Warm Climates
Publication
 
Author
Morton. J.
Publisher
Florida Flair books, Florida.
Year
1987
ISBN
0961018410
Description
A very well written guide to about 125 species.
].
The flowers are said to be of great value to bees[
336
Title
Fruits of Warm Climates
Publication
 
Author
Morton. J.
Publisher
Florida Flair books, Florida.
Year
1987
ISBN
0961018410
Description
A very well written guide to about 125 species.
].

Edible Uses

Fruit - raw or cooked[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
335
Title
Perennial Edible Fruits of the Tropics : an Inventory
Publication
 
Author
Martin, F. W.; Campbell, C. W.; Rubertbe, R. M.
Publisher
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
Year
1987
ISBN
 
Description
A booklet giving terse details of almost 300 species of edible fruits, plus regional lists of Botanical and Common names for over 2,500 less well-known edible fruits of the tropics.
]. They are generally stewed or preserved with sugar, or made into jam[
336
Title
Fruits of Warm Climates
Publication
 
Author
Morton. J.
Publisher
Florida Flair books, Florida.
Year
1987
ISBN
0961018410
Description
A very well written guide to about 125 species.
]. The fruit is round, oval or pyriform, lemon- or orange-yellow or reddish, 1 - 2 cm wide, with thin, smooth, somewhat leathery skin[
336
Title
Fruits of Warm Climates
Publication
 
Author
Morton. J.
Publisher
Florida Flair books, Florida.
Year
1987
ISBN
0961018410
Description
A very well written guide to about 125 species.
]. It is beset with the curling, leafy sepals of the calyx and often a few spines, until fully ripe, when it is juicy and subacid to tart[
336
Title
Fruits of Warm Climates
Publication
 
Author
Morton. J.
Publisher
Florida Flair books, Florida.
Year
1987
ISBN
0961018410
Description
A very well written guide to about 125 species.
].

Young shoots and leaves - raw or cooked[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
,
336
Title
Fruits of Warm Climates
Publication
 
Author
Morton. J.
Publisher
Florida Flair books, Florida.
Year
1987
ISBN
0961018410
Description
A very well written guide to about 125 species.
]. They can be eaten in salads in the same way as purslane (Portulacca spp.), or added to cooked dishes and eaten as greens[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
,
336
Title
Fruits of Warm Climates
Publication
 
Author
Morton. J.
Publisher
Florida Flair books, Florida.
Year
1987
ISBN
0961018410
Description
A very well written guide to about 125 species.
]. They are an important food in parts of rural Brazil[
336
Title
Fruits of Warm Climates
Publication
 
Author
Morton. J.
Publisher
Florida Flair books, Florida.
Year
1987
ISBN
0961018410
Description
A very well written guide to about 125 species.
].

Medicinal

The leaves are valued for their emollient nature and are applied on inflammations and tumours[
336
Title
Fruits of Warm Climates
Publication
 
Author
Morton. J.
Publisher
Florida Flair books, Florida.
Year
1987
ISBN
0961018410
Description
A very well written guide to about 125 species.
].

Other Uses

Often used as a rootstock on which to graft other less vigorous cacti[
336
Title
Fruits of Warm Climates
Publication
 
Author
Morton. J.
Publisher
Florida Flair books, Florida.
Year
1987
ISBN
0961018410
Description
A very well written guide to about 125 species.
].

Propagation

Seed -
Easily grown from cuttings of half-ripe wood[
336
Title
Fruits of Warm Climates
Publication
 
Author
Morton. J.
Publisher
Florida Flair books, Florida.
Year
1987
ISBN
0961018410
Description
A very well written guide to about 125 species.
].

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