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Pereskia aculeata

Description from Flora of China

Cactus pereskia Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 469. 1753.

Shrubs, at first erect, later clambering, 3-10 m tall. Areoles cushionlike and to 15 mm in diam. on trunk, 1.5-2 mm in diam. on twigs. Spines 1-3 per areole, on main branches acicular and straight, 1-4(-8) cm, on young branches additionally with 2 short, broadly based, recurved spines for climbing. Petiole 3-7 mm; leaf blade green or abaxially purplish, ovate, elliptic, or obovate, 4.5-7(-10) × 1.5-5 cm, glabrous, base cuneate to rounded, margin entire, apex shortly acuminate or acute; lateral veins 4-7. Flowers 3-4 cm in diam., fragrant (diosmin); pedicel 5-10 mm. Sepaloids pale green, ovate or obovate. Petaloids white to pale yellow, obovate to spatulate, 15-20 × 6-8 mm, margin entire, apex acute to truncate. Filaments white or golden, 5-7 mm; anthers yellow, 1-1.2 mm. Ovary superior; style white, 10-11 mm; stigmas 4-7, white, 3-4 mm. Fruit light yellow, obovoid or globose, 1-2 cm, spines eventually deciduous. Seeds 2-5, lenticular, 4.5-5 mm in diam., 1.4-1.6 mm thick.

This species was first introduced to China in 1901.

Thickets beside railways; near sea level. S Fujian (Xiamen) [native to tropical America and the West Indies; widely introduced and escaped in tropical regions].


 

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