Did you know that there are 2,000 different species of cactus? Most cacti grow in the desert regions of South and North America. Cacti come in all different shapes and sizes. In fact, the largest cactus can grow to 66 feet and weigh up to 4,900 pounds! These succulents also come in a variety of colors including green and blue, but they all have a waxy surface that traps water in.
The leaves of a cactus are known as spines and come in all shapes, sizes, and patterns. You don't want to cuddle a cactus! Most cacti produce flowers during the spring and summer, while some produce fruit that is often edible. Just like other plants, cacti require pollinators such as bees, moths, bats, and hummingbirds. Some cacti such as Peyote, produce mescaline, a hallucinogenic substance used in Native American rituals and for medicinal purposes.
One of the most surprising things about cacti is how long they can survive. Depending on the variety, these plants can survive up to 300 years! Many people like to keep cacti as houseplants because they require little water and look great as home accents!
Are you someone who loves cacti? Do you grow them in your garden or keep them inside? How much do you about the different species? Think you can identify a list of cacti based on one image? Prove it by taking this quiz!
Native to the Andean Mountains of Peru and Ecuador, the San Pedro Cactus is one of the four most sacred plants of Peru. The San Pedro Cactus has hallucinogenic properties.
The Balloon Cactus is a a globe shaped plant with spines running down its sides. The plant has yellow flowers and can grow to 12 inches high.
The Mexican Fencepost Cactus is made up of tall column like trucks. This cactus produces pinkish flowers that develop into a red fruit with seeds.
This cactus has small orbs with lemon-yellow spines. In the spring it produces small white flowers.
The old man cactus got its name from its soft white hair. When this tall cactus blooms, it sprouts orchid-like white flowers.
The Christmas Tree Cactus grows up to 13 feet tall. In the spring when this cactus blooms, it produces red flowers, which is how it got its name, the Christmas Tree Cactus!
This Cactus got its name because when grown outside, hundreds of clumps grow off of it. The Mother of Hundreds Cactus can also be grown indoors.
The Little Nipple Cactus grows to be about 6 inches and is shaped like a mound. The mound has little nipple-like sprouts, which is how it got its name.
The Grafted Cactus is actually two different plants fused together. These come in varying heights and colors.
The Old Man Cactus got its name because of its white hair. The white hair wraps around the cacti's stems.
The Prickly Pear cactus likes to grow in the hot and dry areas of your garden. They are very easy to grow which is why you've probably seen them before.
The Mammillaria Rekoi Leptacantha Cactus grows to about 6 inches tall. It has prickly spines and grows pink flowers.
The Saguaro Cactus grows in the Sonoran Desert and is one of the most recognizable cacti. This cactus grows as tall as a tree and has arms that bend upwards.
Peyote is a spineless cactus that grows in Mexico. Peyote is known for its psychoactive properties and is historically used by indigenous peoples of North America for ritualist and medicinal purposes.
The Blue Barrel Cactus produces yellow flowers in the spring and summer. The cactus itself is silvery-blue with golden-yellow spines.
The Golden Barrel Cactus got its name because of its golden spines that wrap its globe-shaped body. The top of this cactus produces yellow flowers.
The Fairy Castle Cactus can grow to 36 inches tall and resembles a castle, hence its name. Its spines are white and will occasionally bloom large white flowers.
Pine Apple Cactus is a short plant. Its stems are topped with star-shaped spines. When in bloom, the Pineapple Cactus produces yellow flowers.
The Hedgehog Cactus native to the southwestern United State. In the spring, the cactus blooms and produces pink flowers.
The Candelabra Cactus can grow to about 8 to 10 inches. The cactus produces white flowers which open during the day and close at night.
The Feather Cactus is an odd-looking cactus because of its short stature and the fact that it's covered in whine feathery spines. When it bloom, the Feather Cactus produces small white flowers.
The Red Torch cactus is the shape of a flashlight or torch. The base of the cactus is green and its spines are red. This cactus can grow to about 5 feet.
The Barbary Fig cactus is a type of Prickly Pear. Native to Mexico, parts of this cactus can be eaten. When in bloom, the Barabary Fig produces lovely yellow flowers that soon grow red fruit.
The Copper King Ladyfinger Cactus grows in clumps. The cylindrical stems are covered in copper-colored spines. This cactus makes a great houseplant and will grow comfortably in a pot.
The Old Man of Peru Cactus has crazy wild white spines that look like an old man's beard. This cactus grows vertically and produces red flowers.
The Red African Milk Tree cactus is actually a relative of the poinsettias. The stems of this cactus that grow red leaves and is happiest growing in Africa.
The Schlosser Cactus can grow up 8 inches tall. It is a spherical shaped cactus with yellow flowers that grow out of the top. It is also known as the Notocactus Schlosser.
The Silver Ball Cactus is shaped like a ball and is adorned with silver spikes. Its official scientific name is Notocactus scopa. When it blooms, it produces ivory-yellow flowers.
This adorable cactus has little red spokes that resemble hair at the top, which why it's called the Red-Headed Irishman Cactus. As the cactus matures, however, the spikes change from red to white.
The Cereus cactus is of the night blooming variety. Cereus means "wax" or "torch" in Latin. These cacti resemble shrubs and their flowers, which only bloom at night, are white, pink, purple, yellow, and green.
The Desert Gem Cactus is another type of Prickly Pear. This 12-inch tall cactus has pads that produce orange flowers. The scientific name of this cactus is Opuntia rufida.
The Turk's Cap Cactus is covered in red spines and pink flowers. Native to Cuba, Turk's Cap is an endangered species and grows to about 4 inches.
The South American Pincushion Cactus has red spines and with direct sunlight, produces small pink flowers. The small pink flowers sometimes grow in what looks like a crown.
The Crown Cactus is easy to grow and is found growing on the mountains of South America. This cactus produces flowers at the base and regularly send out offshoots, creating a nice clump of pretty looking cacti.
The Maverick is a slow-growing green marbled cactus. The spines on this cactus are transparent but they are there, so it's a good idea not to touch it! In the proper conditions, the Maverick can grow a couple of feet tall.
The Parodia Nivosa produces beautiful red/orange flowers. This cactus is small and is coveed in long white spines. Parodia Nivosa is native to Argentina.
A native of the Caribbean, the Woolly Nipple Cactus produces clusters of offsets. This cactus has yellow spines and white hairs. When it blooms, it produces green flowers.
The Twin-Spine Cactus grows in Arizona, California, and Nevada. It has white spines and can grow about inches tall. When it blooms, it produces little pink flowers.
Epiphyllum means "upon the leaf" in Greek. This cactus has flat stems and produces large flowers that come in either white or red. It also produces edible fruit! Epiphyllum may also be called Climbing Cacti, Orchid Cacti, or Leaf Cacti.