Q. What distinguishes Pereskia bleo from Pereskia grandifolia flowering shrubs?
The rose cactus, botanical name Pereskia grandifolia, a spiny, much-branched, deciduous tropical shrub or low-branching small tree, growing 10 - 20 ft. tall in its native habitat of Brazil. According to one reference, it has edible leaves sometimes gathered from the wild and used locally in the tropics. The plant is also used as a hedge and is commonly grown as an ornamental in gardens, where it is valued for its beautiful rose like flowers and decorative fruits.
The other plant Pereskia bleo is similar but has peachy orange colored flowers. Pereskia bleo and Pereskia grandifolia, commonly known as ‘Jarum Tujuh Bilah’ in Malaysia belong to the botanical family Cactaceae. Pereskia bleo can be easily confused with Pereskia grandifolia because they are vegetatively similar. However, the leaves, flowers, and spines can easily distinguish them. Pereskia bleo has thinner, corrugated leaves, and orangish-red flowers, with shorter spines compared to Pereskia grandifolia. In contrast, Pereskia grandifolia has thicker, uncorrugated leaves, and pink to purplish-pink flowers, with longer and lesser spines.
Both Pereskia bleo and Pereskia grandifolia have been used as natural remedies in cancer-related diseases, either eaten raw or taken as a concoction brewed from fresh plants. Both are believed to have anti-cancer, anti-tumor, anti-rheumatic, anti-ulcer, and anti-inflammatory properties. They are also used as remedies for the relief of headache, gastric pain, ulcers, hemorrhoids, atopic dermatitis, and for revitalizing the body. In Panama, the locals use the whole plant of Pereskia bleo to treat gastrointestinal problems, while in India, Pereskia grandifolia is used to reduce swelling.
Rose Cactus (Pereskia grandifolia)
Sun-loving and easy to grow, these beautiful rose-pink single flowers, centered by yellow stamens, emerge successively from dense terminal clusters. A member of the cactus family tolerating dry conditions, this Brazilian native has a bushy, well-branched habit.
Cultivation and Propagation: Nearly indestructible, Pereskia grandifolia requires full sun or light shade
(but withstand dense shade) and well drained soils, preferably rich neutral organic soils, but may
tolerate acidic ones. http://www.cssgc.org/CactusID/Pereskiagrandifolia.pdf
We cannot say you can eat the plant, as each individual reacts differently to most any plant, especially one that is new to them.
Hope this is helpful.
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