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Barbados Gooseberry, Tsunya
Scientific Name: Pereskia aculeata Mill.
Synonym: Pereskia acardia, Pereskia undulata, Pereskia rubescens, Pereskia longispina, Pereskia aculeata var. rubescens, Pereskia aculeata var. godseffiana, Pereskia pereskia, Cactus pereskia, Pereskia godseffiana
Family: Cactaceae
Barbados Gooseberry, Tsunya (Pereskia  aculeata)
Pereskia aculeata at Holly Gate, photo Terry Hewitt
Recommended Temperature Zone:
USDA: 9b-11

Frost Tolerance: Hardy to 26F (-3C)

Minimum Avg. Temperature: 50F (10C)

Heat Tolerance: Light shade in Phoenix in summer

Sun Exposure: Morning sun or bright shade

Origin: Caribbean and South America, escaped in Central America to Florida

Growth Habits: Climbing shrub, up to 20 feet tall (6 m), 1 to 3 short hooked spines, sometimes longer straight spines on older stems, leaves with short petioles, up to 4 inches long (10 cm)

Watering Needs: Enjoy some humidity in the air. They need good drainage, but the soil should stay moist in summer. Keep drier in winter.


A common variety of Pereskia aculeata is sold as Pereskia godseffiana, the valid name seems to be Pereskia aculeata var. rubescens. It is a pretty form that has leaves variegated with red.
The fruits are edible, and in some places, the leaves are used as vegetables.

Pereskia aculeata at Holly Gate, photo Terry Hewitt

Blooming Habits:
Strongly scented whitish flowers in clusters, to 1.6 inches in diameter (4 cm), followed by light yellow, edible, spiny fruits, 0.6 to 0.8 in. in diameter. The seeds are dark brown, flattened 4 to 5 mm in diameter.

Fruiting Habits:

Contrarily to other cacti, this plant is not succulent, and the cuttings should be planted in a moist soil mixture immediately instead of being left to dry out a couple of days.

Las Cactaceas de Mexico

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Desert-Tropicals is dedicated to provide gardening advice, gardening ideas, and information about flower of all kind for landscape and collections. We try to check carefully the identification of the plants on the illustrations as well as the other information from the page, but occasionally errors do occur. if you notice anything that needs to be changed please contact us. Thanks.

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