Barbados Gooseberry


Barbados gooseberry (Pereskia aculeata)



  • Woody shrub when young, grows into climbing, leafy cactus, with branches are up to 11m (33 ft) long
  • Fragrant flowers (can be lemon, sweet, or repulsive smelling) and round yellow-red berries
  • Native to the West Indies and the northern coast of South America, introduced intentionally for horticulture (as an ornamental or for its fruit)


  • Forms dense, thorny thickets in low elevations, overgrows and replaces other plants
  • Spread by birds and animals that eat the fruit
  • Has become a major weed in South Africa where it is an escaped ornamental

In Hawaii:

  • Molokai: Present if Halawa Valley. MoMISC is working to eradicate this species.
  • Oahu: Known from cultivation at experiment stations in Honolulu and Haleiwa. Not currently an OISC target. Landowners are asked to remove this pest and replace with a non-invasive alternate.barbadosgooseberry4
  • Kauai, Lanai, Kahoolawe, Big Island: presence/absence unknown.

For more information, see: