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Photo Credit: Molly Murphy

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Photo Credit: Jimmy Parker

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Photo Credit: Jimmy Parker

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QUICK FACTS

  • HPRWA SCORE 13
  • FAMILY Cactaceae
  • CATEGORY Shrubs, Vines, & Others

Barbados gooseberry, West Indian gooseberry, Spanish gooseberry, lemon vine, sweet Mary, leaf cactus, blade apple, and gooseberry shrub (Pereskia aculeata)

Pereskia was introduced intentionally to Hawaii and is present in the horticultural trade. It is a target species for invasive species committees in Hawaii and is a major pest in parts of Africa and Australia. It is native to the West Indies and South America.

  • A primitive leafy cactus
  • Woody climbing shrub with succulent leaves
  • White flowers in clusters that are strongly scented
  • Orange fruits with some spines and many seeds inside
  • Numerous thorns, hooked and spines

Harm

  • Forms large impenetrable thickets
  • smothers other vegitation
  • Extreme thorniness makes control of large infestations difficult
  • Stems and detached leaves stay alive and can form roots months after removal from the parent plant
  • Capable of adapting to a variety of environmental conditions