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Little River Cooperative

Barbados Gooseberry Cactus

Regular price $15.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $15.00 USD
Sale Sold out

Barbados Gooseberry
pereskia aculeata

days to maturity:
plant spacing: 1 plant every 8 square feet, trellised or hanging
sunlight requirements: 8-14 hours
look out for: its got thorns!
harvest notes: spiky cactus vine, make sure to plant it somewhere where it can be spiky and grow freely

This unique tropical succulent fruit goes by many common names: blade apple, leaf cactus, West Indian gooseberry, lemon vine, and gooseberry shrub in Barbados. We have always loved this rare plant and only recently did we find a good source for fresh seed at our neighbors Patch of Heaven Sanctuary  who have a large fruiting specimen in their parking lot. This plant is believed to be native to the West Indies, coastal South America and Panama, however its been cultivated in South Florida since around the 40s. Because this plant is a cactus it thrives in poor well draining soil, lots of sun, and it doesn't want wet feet (don't water it too much). The fruits are generally stewed or preserved in sugar or made into jam but they can also be eaten out of hand and are tart, lemony and acidic. 

Fun fact: the fleshy leaves of this succulent plant are also edible and are an excellent source of protein and also contain iron, calcium, phosphorous and magnesium in higher levels than spinach. 

Before you decide to buy and plant this unique fruit crop make sure you know exactly where you want it, because not only is it spiky which makes it hard to prune & move but it is also very resilient and can be hard to kill if you do ever want to remove it completely. 


All of our plants are produced using OMRI certified organic materials (potting mix, fertilizer & pesticides) however our nursery is not certified organic. Plants are shipped in compostable peat moss pots and we use heirloom & organic seeds whenever possible.

Shipping & Returns

We ship plant orders every Monday. Due to the nature of shipping plants we only offer expedited shipping for our live plant orders. Our returns & exchanges policy is also quite strict since its hard to control the quality of a plant once it leaves our facility, however we do our very best to make sure that each and every customer is satisfied with their plants. Read more about our policies here. 


All of our plants are potted in 4" pots and their foliage size varies based on how large the plant is naturally when its root ball is the correct size for the pot. If a plant is too tall for our shipping box we may prune it to fit (bonus: many plants do better after being pruned since they make bushier growth). We do our very best to ship all of our plants in the "sweet spot" of maturity however so long as the roots have colonized the pot we will consider a plant mature enough to ship.

Care Instructions

When you receive your plant its critical to get it out of its box and into the light the day it arrives. It will also want to be removed from its compostable plastic wrapping and given fresh water to drink. Keep in mind, this plant was grown in the tropical humid climate of South Florida, so if it's terribly cold or dry where you are it'll need to be hardened off before planting outdoors. Visit our care instructions page for more thorough info about caring for your new plant friend.

  • What Our Customers Have to Say:

    This is a great, local organization with really knowledgeable & friendly staff. They make gardening easy and accessible, and I've purchased many high quality plants and equipment from them.
    -Kate Black (5 star google review)

  • And Another One:

    How lucky we are to have a resource like Little River Cooperative here in Miami, not only for the access they offer to a great selection of plants and produce, but also for the knowledge they provide and the sense of community they foster!
    -Nick Vagnoni (5 star google review)