Native to forests of Central and South America, wax rose is a leafy cactus. Because it evolved in shady, moist conditions, this cactus species kept its foliage. However, most members of the cactus family lost their leaves during their evolution in desert conditions. Therefore, the wax rose is a blend between cactus and typical leafy plants.
The thick succulent-like leaves appear wrinkled and are elliptic. Rose-like flowers grow at the end of the stem and appear waxy, hence the common name. They range in color from red to scarlet to orange to pink. They have about ten petals and are bisexual. The edible fruit is yellow and shaped like a funnel. Black disk-like seeds are inside the sour-tasting fruit. The woody stems are densely covered in blackthorns.
Traditionally this cactus was used medicinally to treat many ailments.
- Container plant
- Indoor plant
- Thorns or spines