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Classification System: APG IV

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

Familia: Cactaceae
Subfamilia: Opuntioideae
Tribus: Cylindropuntieae
Genus: Pereskiopsis
Species: P. aquosa – P. blakeana – P. diguetii – P. kellermanii – P. porteri – P. rotundifolia
Source(s) of checklist:

Korotkova, N. et al. 2022. Pereskiopsis in Cactaceae at A global synthesis of species diversity in the angiosperm order Caryophyllales. Published online. Accessed: 2022 Jan 02. Reference page.


Pereskiopsis Britton & Rose, 1907

Type: Pereskiopsis brandegeei (K.Schum.) Britton & Rose

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Southern America
Regional: Western South America
Regional: Central America
Guatemala, Honduras
Continental: Northern America
Regional: Mexico
Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Britton, N.L. & Rose, J.N. 1907. Smithsonian Misc. Collect. 50: 331.

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. 2022. Pereskiopsis in Cactaceae at A global synthesis of species diversity in the angiosperm order Caryophyllales. Published online. Accessed: 2022 Jan 02. Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2022. Pereskiopsis in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2022 Jan 02. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2022. Pereskiopsis. Published online. Accessed: Jan 02 2022. 2022. Pereskiopsis. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 02 Jan 2022.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Pereskiopsis in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 09-Oct-10.

Vernacular names
suomi: Rankokaktukset

Pereskiopsis is a genus of cactus (family Cactaceae) in the subfamily Opuntioideae. Unlike typical cacti, it has persistent fleshy leaves. The genus name refers to its resemblance to the genus Pereskia. Most species are found in Mexico south through Guatemala to Honduras, with one species in Bolivia. The incorrect spelling Peireskiopsis has also been used.


Species of Pereskiopsis do not have the typical appearance of most cacti, including those in the subfamily Opuntioideae to which it belongs, since they have persistent fleshy leaves. They mostly have a shrubby or treelike growth habit, although some scramble or climb. Their stems have a round cross section and are not divided into segments. Their leaves are flat, succulent and generally long-lasting, and of various shapes, including elliptical and almost round. The characteristic areoles of cacti are present, and usually have glochids marking them as members of the Opuntioideae as well as needle-like spines. Their flowers resemble those of the genus Opuntia, with petals that open widely during the day. The fruits, which have few seeds, are fleshy and often have glochids.[1]

The genus was described by Nathaniel Lord Britton and Joseph Nelson Rose in 1907.[2] Species known at that time had been variously placed in either Opuntia or Pereskia.[1] Two were first described in Pereskia in 1828, and transferred to Opuntia in 1898 under the section Pereskiopuntia.[3] The genus name means like Pereskia, being derived from the genus name Pereskia plus the Greek-derived ending -opsis meaning 'appearance'. Pereskia is named after Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, a 16th-century French botanist.[1] Some sources have used the incorrect spelling Peireskiopsis.[4]

Pereskiopsis is placed in the tribe Cylindropuntieae of the subfamily Opuntioideae. A 2016 molecular phylogenetic study of the tribe suggested the relationships shown in the following cladogram, where the genera Quiabentia and Pereskiopsis are basal to the main clade of Grusonia and Cylindropuntia. However, only two species of Pereskiopsis were included, and the status of Grusonia pulchella remains uncertain. The author of the study suggested it be recognized as Micropuntia pulchella, although it could be another species of Pereskiopsis. However, G. pulchella has deciduous leaves, unlike the persistent leaves characteristic of Pereskiopsis.[5]




Grusonia pulchella, syn. Micropuntia pulchella

Grusonia (12 species)



As of June 2021, Plants of the World Online accepted seven species:[2]

Pereskiopsis aquosa (F.A.C.Weber) Britton & Rose
Pereskiopsis blakeana J.G.Ortega
Pereskiopsis brandegeei Britton & Rose
Pereskiopsis diguetii (F.A.C.Weber) Britton & Rose, syn. Pereskiopsis spathulata (Otto ex Pfeiff.) Britton & Rose[6]
Pereskiopsis kellermanii Rose
Pereskiopsis porteri (Brandegee ex F.A.C.Weber) Britton & Rose, syn. Pereskiopsis gatesii E.M.Baxter[7]
Pereskiopsis rotundifolia (DC.) Britton & Rose


Species of Pereskia are native from Mexico south through Guatemala to Honduras, with one species, Pereskiopsis diguetii, also being found in Bolivia.[2][6]

Pereskiopsis species are not often cultivated as ornamental plants. Seedlings are used as grafting stock because of their narrow stem and vigorous growth.[8]

Anderson, Edward F. (2001), "Pereskiopsis", The Cactus Family, Pentland, Oregon: Timber Press, pp. 572–574, ISBN 978-0-88192-498-5
"Pereskiopsis Britton & Rose", Plants of the World Online, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2021-06-19
Britton, N.L. & Rose, J.N. (1907), "Pereskiopsis, a new genus of Cactaceae", Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, 50: 331–334, retrieved 2021-06-19
"Peireskiopsis Vaupel", The Interim Register of Marine and Nonmarine Genera, retrieved 2021-06-20
Bárcenas, Rolando T. (2016), "A molecular phylogenetic approach to the systematics of Cylindropuntieae (Opuntioideae, Cactaceae)", Cladistics, 32: 351–359, doi:10.1111/cla.12135
"Pereskiopsis diguetii (F.A.C.Weber) Britton & Rose", Plants of the World Online, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2021-06-20
"Pereskiopsis porteri (Brandegee ex F.A.C.Weber) Britton & Rose", Plants of the World Online, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2021-06-20
Pilbeam, John (1987), "Pereskiopsis B. & R.", Cacti for the Connoisseur : A Guide for Growers & Collectors, London: Batsford, p. 129, ISBN 978-0-7134-4861-0

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