Pereskia Bleo aka Rose Cactus or Wax Rose

Finally, I was able to positively identify this beautiful yet potentially harmful plant growing in our front yard. All I knew was that the plant grew from a cutting that came from Davao. Thanx to the kind folks at the forums of, I learned that the plant is of the genus Pereskia (leafy cactus). From that lead, I searched the web and found the plant to be Pereskia Bleo, also known by esoteric names such as Rose Cactus or Wax Rose.

Saying it's "potentially harmful" is a bit of an understatement, however. "Vicious" as one blogger described it is more apt.

The plant itself is unremarkable except for the needle-like vicious thorns that line the vertical shaft of the stem. It's almost impossible to handle the plant without getting pricked. Just look at one thorn jutting out under the flower in the photo above.

The plant is very easy to propagate with cuttings. Here's an entry from

Pereskia bleo

Scientific Name: Pereskia bleo (Kunth) DC.

Synonym: Pereskia cruenta, Pereskia panamensis, Rhodocactus corrugatus, Pereskia corrugata, Rhodocactus bleo, Cactus bleo

Family: Cactaceae

Minimum Avg. Temperature: 50°F (10°C)

Sun Exposure: Morning sun or bright shade

Origin: Panama and Colombia

Watering Needs: Enjoy some humidity in the air. They need good drainage, but the soil should stay moist in summer. Keep drier in winter.

Propagation: Contrary to other cacti, this plant is not succulent, and the cuttings should be planted in a moist soil mixture immediately instead of being left to dry out a couple of days.

Below is a closeup of the flower with a bug caught savoring the nectar.

Anyway, when we have visitors at home, I can now say without hesitation that it's a Rose Cactus and no longer "a plant from Davao".

The Rose Cactus exhibits flower color changes due to change in temperature.
Note: NONE of the photos above were digitally enhanced.

Go ahead, post your comment below!

Anonymous said...


Would you say the color of your plant is red or orange? The flower color is beautiful- other photos of this plant look more orange.

Are you in the US? If so, I would like to trade a cutting. I have Pereskia grandiflora var. violacea if you are interested. Thanks

Blackdove said...

That is a question to which I have an interesting answer. When it's sunny or during hot days, the flower color is bright orange. However during long rainy days, or when it's cold, the new flowers take on a magenta hue! I'm in the Philippines, by the way.

Anonymous said...

Thank you.That explains why internet photos seem to show various flower color hues. Would you please remove my email address from the comments. Thank you!

Blackdove said...

Sorry for that. I've removed the email. In case you're interested, here's an article where I point out the changing colors of the Rose Cactus flowers.

Anonymous said...

Hello! Can you help me find a place where I can buy that plant? A friend needs it medicinally. Thanks so much!

Blackdove said...

Where are you from? I'm from Muntinlupa City. I don't know of garden centers who sell this plant. It may not be so popular because some Filipinos have this superstition of planting thorny plants in front of the house as bad luck.

Kevin said...

Can i put this plant into my face and rub ?

Blackdove said...

For what purpose, Kevin?