Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Pereskia aculeata
Mill., Cactaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 13 (Go to the risk assessment)

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: mu qi lin

English: Barbados gooseberry, leafy cactus, lemon vine, pereskia creeper, primitive cactus, Spanish gooseberry

French: groseillier des Barbades

Spanish: bugambilia blanca, camilia blanca, grosellero, jasmín de uvas, ramo de novio

Habit:  shrub

Description:  "Shrub with long branches clambering or high-climbing; spines on young stems solitary or 2 or 3, slender and straight, on older stems recurved, paired. Leaves with petioles 3-7 mm long; blades lanceolate to oblong or ovate, 5-7 x 2-4 cm, base cuneate to rounded, apex short-acuminate, fleshy, smooth. Inflorescences panicles. Flowers with perianth white, pale yellow, or aging to pink. Fruits globose, 2.5-4.5 cm in diameter, smooth or with green leafy protuberances, light yellow to orange" (Howard, 1989; p. 416).

"Arbuste grimpant ou liane à feuilles très faiblement succulentes, possédant deux aiguillons en crochet, caractéristiques de l'espèce, de part et d'autre de l'axile des feuilles, qui le fait ressembler au Bougainvill‚e, et donnant des fleurs le plus souvent blanchâtres, groupées et odorantes. Arbuste grimpant ou liane de 3 à 10m de haut (au tronc de 2-3cm de diamètre, voire très légèrement plus) dressé et s'appuyant sur la végétation alentour puis retombant, à l'écorce verte puis devenant marron, se craquelant. Feuilles de taille moyenne, très faiblement succulentes, lancéolées ou ovales, voire presque rondes (4,5-11 cm de long pour 1,5-5 cm de large). Envers des feuilles pouvant être pourpres. Pétiole court. Nervure centrale proéminente à l'envers des feuilles. Aréoles portant 1-3 aiguillons recourbés en crochet plus ou moins fins ou aplatis, le plus souvent par paire de part et d'autre de l'axile des feuilles, ce qui permet de reconnaŚtre aisément cette espèce (4-8mm de long). Sur les aréoles plus anciennes naissent ensuite jusqu'à 25 aiguillons droits de 10-35 mm de long. Floraison diurne en automne (dans les Cara‹bes, floraison en juin puis octobre-novembre et fruits matures en mars et octobre). Fleurs odorantes, blanchâtres à rose très pâle, de taille moyenne (2,5-5cm de diamètre), terminales ou latérales, groupées en inflorescences de 70 et plus. Fruits comestibles de petite taille (1,5-2,5 de diamètre), globuleux et charnus, jaunes à oranges à maturité, dont les petites épines tombent rapidement. Graines lenticulaires noires et assez grandes (environ 5mm de diamètre)." (Au Cactus Francophone)

Habitat/ecology:  "Grass- and scrubland, dry forests.  In the native range, this plant grows in tropical hammocks, savanna forests, and coastal dunes.  It is a variable species with many varieties and forms.  The plant often grows upright first and changes into a climbing growth habit.  The plant forms dense and spiny thickets that displace native plants and affect wildlife habitats"  (Weber, 2003; p. 315).

In Australia, "naturalised at several locations in Queensland and is also known to occur in gardens. The plant has been recorded growing amongst riparian vegetation along the banks of the Brisbane River at Sherwood (Brisbane). P. aculeata may become an invasive weed in coastal, sub-tropical areas of southern Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales. The plant has a tendency to form large, impenetrable clumps. Its extreme thorniness could make control of large infestations difficult" (Csurhes & Edwards, 1998; p. 52).

Propagation:  Seed via bird-dispersed fruit (possibly also distributed by other animals), broken stem fragments (Csurhes & Edwards, 1998; p. 52).

Native range:  "West Indies, Venezuela, Guyana, Brazil, and Argentina; elsewhere in the tropics cultivated or escaped" (Howard, 1989; p. 416).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (2004) (p. 95)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Parker, James L./Parsons, Bobby (2012) (pp. 66-67)
Voucher cited: J. Parker & R. Parsons BIED109 (BISH)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Ngercheu Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (pp. 8, 16)
Carp Resort
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
cultivated
Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. (1998) (pp. 52-53)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
invasive
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Thickets beside railways; near sea level. S. Fujian (Xiamen).
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
cultivated
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 75)
Ornamental.
Colombia
Colombia
Colombia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Panama
Panama
Panama (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 68)
Cultivated only
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
South Africa
South Africa
South Africa (Republic of) introduced
Henderson, Lesley (1995)

Comments:  A declared noxious weed in South Africa (Henderson, 1995). "P. aculeata has become a problem in forestry and conservation areas in South Africa (Natal, Kwazulu and the eastern Cape)" (Csurhes & Edwards, 1998; p. 52).

Control:  "Specific control methods for this species are not available.  Small plants may be pulled or dug out.  Larger thickets may be controlled in similar ways as Opuntia species"  (Weber, 2003; p. 315).


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This page was created on 17 JAN 2004 and was last updated on 19 JAN 2011.