Pereskia Mill., 1754 is a genus of succulent plants of the family Cactaceae. The genus includes about 25 tropical species, originating in South-Central, from Mexico to Brazil.
The genus name, as well as that of the subfamily Pereskioideae recalls the French naturalist Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc (1580-1637). Species belonging to this genus are usually identified as screws lemon, pink or cacuts cactus leaf (the latter may also refer all'Epiphyllum).
Arborescent and perennial plants, the Pereskia have woody stems and thin spines are filled over time, they are small or they can take on the appearance of a climber using just plugs like hook.
Pereskia is one of the most important kinds of cacti, the one that sits, in terms of morphology between the plants with leaves and succulent plants. Even from the perspective of photosynthesis, have some peculiarities.
Plants belonging to this subfamily in fact produce organic matter through photosynthesis CAM from the stem, the leaves have a C3 metabolism.
This kind of plant has leaves persistent, dark, oval and lanceolate, alternate, flat and leathery, which fall during the winter, the areolae are composed of about thirty thorns that can get to measure up to 8 cm and flowers, and pedicled scented petals have expanded in different colors often gather in groups in autumn give way to smaller berries yellowish can be eatable.
The cultivation of Pereskia requires excellent drainage consists of well-manured ground and a good portion of sand. This plant needs a lot of brightness like the sun only during spring and autumn but not direct sun of the hot season.
Watering should be regular season from March to October, but will be suspended during the winter. The Pereskia can withstand the winter to a temperature of 0 ° C so it can be grown outdoors in mild climates.
Reproduction may be by cuttings in summer and seed in spring. The cuttings will root in sand is pure, while the seed is planted in sand kept damp and shaded at a temperature of about 24 ° C.