A succulent and perennial plant from tropical South America introduced as ornamental and barrier plant. It is a spiny vine in the Cactaceae family with strongly scented flowers in white, cream or pinkish, 2.5–5 cm diameter. The leaves are 4–11 cm long and 1.5–4 cm broad, simple, entire, and deciduous in the dry season. Younger stems have hooked thorns and older stems have clusters of woody spines. Leaves and fruits are edible and the seeds are spread by birds and other animals feeding on the fruit.