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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Ordo: Caryophyllales

Familia: Cactaceae
Subfamilia: Leuenbergioideae
Genus: Leuenbergeria
Species: L. aureiflora – L. bleo – L. guamacho – L. lychnidiflora – L. marcanoi – L. portulacifolia – L. quisqueyana – L. zinniiflora
Source(s) of checklist:

Korotkova, N. et al. 2021. Leuenbergeria in Cactaceae at A global synthesis of species diversity in the angiosperm order Caryophyllales. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Dec 29. Reference page.


Leuenbergeria Lodé, Cact.-Avent. Int. 97: 26. 2012.
Type species: Leuenbergeria quisqueyana (Alain) Lodé


Pereskia sect. Archipereskia Doweld, Byull. Moskovsk. Obshch. Isp. Prir., Otd. Biol. 109(4): 45. 2004.
Type species: Pereskia lychnidiflora DC.
Pereskia sect. Brasilipereskia Doweld, Byull. Moskovsk. Obshch. Isp. Prir., Otd. Biol. 109(4): 46. 2004.
Type species: Pereskia bleo (Kunth) DC.
Pereskia subg. Leuenbergera G.D.Rowley, Cactaceae Syst. Init. 32: 7. 2014.
Type species: Pereskia lychnidiflora DC.


Lodé, J. 2012. Leuenbergeria, un nouveau genre de cactées. Cactus-Aventures International 97: 26–27.

Additional references

Korotkova, N., Aquino, D., Arias, S., Eggli, U., Franck, A. , Gómez-Hinostrosa, C., Guerrero, P.C., Hernández, H.M., Kohlbecker, A., Köhler, M., Luther, K., Majure, L.C., Müller, A., Metzing, D., Nyffeler, R., Sánchez, D., Schlumpberger, B. & Berendsohn, W.G. 2021. Cactaceae at Caryophyllales. org–a dynamic online species-level taxonomic backbone for the family. Willdenowia 51(2): 251–270. DOI: 10.3372/wi.51.51208 Open access Reference page.


Korotkova, N. et al. 2021. Leuenbergeria in Cactaceae at A global synthesis of species diversity in the angiosperm order Caryophyllales. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Dec 29. Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Leuenbergeria in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Dec 29. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2021. Leuenbergeria. Published online. Accessed: Dec 29 2021. 2021. Leuenbergeria. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Dec 29.

Vernacular names

Leuenbergeria is a genus of flowering plant in the family Cactaceae, mostly native around the Caribbean.[1] Unlike most cacti, it has persistent leaves and develops bark on its stems early in its growth. The genus was created in 2012 by Joël Lodé. Before the creation of Leuenbergeria as a genus, the species within it were included in a broadly circumscribed genus, Pereskia. Leuenbergeria is the only genus in the subfamily Leuenbergerioideae.


Species of Leuenbergeria grow as trees or shrubs, up to 10 m (33 ft) in the case of L. lychnidiflora. They differ from most cacti in having leaves even when mature – as also do species of Pereskia and Rhodocactus, with which Leuenbergeria species were once united in a single genus. Leuenbergeria differs from those other genera in that the stems of Leuenbergeria species form bark at an early stage in their growth and do not have stomata, preventing them from acting as organs of photosynthesis. Like other cacti, they have areoles bearing spines. In most species, the areoles also bear leaves. Their flowers are mostly pink, orange or red, although some species have yellow flowers.[3][4]
Main article: Pereskia § Phylogeny and evolution

Joël Lodé created the genus Leuenbergeria in 2012.[5] The name honours the Swiss botanist Beat Ernst Leuenberger.[3] The genus Pereskia was previously broadly defined so that it included Leuenbergeria. Molecular phylogenetic studies suggested that there were three clades within Pereskia when circumscribed in this way.[6][7] Leuenbergeria was created for the "Northern clade". By 2016, all three clades were recognized as separate genera.[3][2] A consensus cladogram from a 2005 study is shown below with the more recent generic assignments added.[8] It shows that the three genera are basal to the rest of the cacti.



Pereskia s.s.


core cacti

Pereskia as previously defined

Leuenbergeria has been placed as the only genus in the subfamily Leuenbergerioideae.[2]

Within the genus, a 2005 molecular phylogenetic study suggested the species were related as shown in the following cladogram. The position of the ovary appears to have some phylogenetic significance.[8] The sister species L. aureiflora and L. guamacho are the only two with yellow flowers.[3]

L. lychnidiflora

L. guamacho

L. aureiflora

L. bleo

L. quisqueyana

L. zinniflora

L. portulacifolia 

L. marcanoi

semi-inferior ovary
inferior ovary


As of May 2019, Plants of the World Online accepted eight species:[1]

Leuenbergeria aureiflora (F.Ritter) Lodé
Leuenbergeria bleo (Kunth) Lodé
Leuenbergeria guamacho (F.A.C.Weber) Lodé
Leuenbergeria lychnidiflora (DC.) Lodé
Leuenbergeria marcanoi (Areces) Lodé
Leuenbergeria portulacifolia (L.) Lodé
Leuenbergeria quisqueyana (Alain) Lodé
Leuenbergeria zinniiflora (DC.) Lodé


Leuenbergeria has a discontinuous distribution. Most species are native to southwest Mexico and around the Caribbean, in both the West Indies and northern South America. L. aureiflora is the exception, being found in eastern Brazil.[1]

"Leuenbergeria Lodé", Plants of the World Online, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2019-05-27
Mayta, Luis & Molinari-Novoa, E.A. (2015), "L'intégration du genre Leuenbergeria Lodé dans sa propre sous-famille, Leuenbergerioideae Mayta & Mol. Nov., subfam. nov.", Succulentopi@ (in French), 15: 6–7, retrieved 2015-01-20
Lodé, J. (2013), "Leuenbergeria, un nouveau genre de cactées", Cactus-Aventures International (in French), 97: 26–27, cited in Mayta & Molinari-Novoa (2015); English translation: Lodé, J. (2013), "Leuenbergeria, a new genus in Cactaceae" (PDF), International Cactus-Adventures, 97: 25–27, retrieved 2021-04-28
Anderson, Edward F. (2001), "Pereskia", The Cactus Family, Pentland, Oregon: Timber Press, pp. 566–572, ISBN 978-0-88192-498-5; Anderson's Pereskia includes Leuenbergeria.
"Plant Name Details for Leuenbergeria Lodé", The International Plant Names Index, retrieved 2019-05-27
Bárcenas, Rolando T.; Yesson, Chris & Hawkins, Julie A. (2011), "Molecular systematics of the Cactaceae", Cladistics, 27 (5): 470–489, doi:10.1111/j.1096-0031.2011.00350.x, S2CID 83525136
Asai, Issaku & Miyata, Kazunori (2016), "An Emendation of Rhodocactus, a Genus Segregated from Pereskia (Cactaceae)" (PDF), Journal of Japanese Botany, 91: 7–12, retrieved 2021-04-25
Edwards, Erika J.; Nyffeler, Reto & Donoghue, Michael J. (2005), "Basal cactus phylogeny: implications of Pereskia (Cactaceae) paraphyly for the transition to the cactus life form", American Journal of Botany, 92 (7): 1177–1188, doi:10.3732/ajb.92.7.1177, PMID 21646140

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