130. Pereskia

Pereskia is a cactus genus, but it doesn’t look or behave like other members of the cactus family. 

Pereskia has broad green leaves that fall off in the winter. These are true leaves, which is very unusual for a cactus. Stranger yet, Pereskia is not well adapted to dry conditions. It can even be found growing in the wet tropics and needs more water than most cacti.

What it does share with other cacti are spines and the unique locations on the stem where spines grow. Called aureoles, these features are found in all cacti. It’s easier to see them on more typical cacti. Look for where the spines emerge from the stem – do you see the little tuft of smaller spines? You’ve found the aureole!