Did You Know…?


Pereskia bleo

The Leaf Cactus is unusual because it is a cactus that bears broad, succulent dark green leaves. The leaves are arranged alternately on the branches and are distinctly stalked with petioles up to 3 cm long. The leaf blade is 6 to 20 centimeters long and 2 to 7 cm wide, elliptic to oblong or lanceolate in shape. The five nerved leaf blades have four to six, often fork-shaped, side lobes. You can tell that it is a cactus because it produces the numerous sharp thorns characteristic of cactus plants in the desert. The thorns are either parallel in bundles or spread widely out. Long thorns on the branches are up to five to ten mm long. Along the main shoots there are up to 40 spines per areole, each 2 cm long.

Its flowers are yellow-orange, and it is somewhat triangular, berry-like fruits are yellow when ripe, and are edible, although they are not very flavorful, at least with this specimen. Incidentally, Cacti are native to the New World, while the cactus-like-in appearance Euphorbias are native to Africa (the Old World).

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