What Advantages Does the Waxy Cuticle Provide to the Leaf? Cuttings and offsets. Cactus spines are actually modified leaves and that photosynthesis is performed by the stalk instead. – Source. The free radicals that are left after the process of cellular metabolism potentially impact the skin. The succulent vs. cactus question is often debated even among professional growers. A saguaro cactus is silhouetted as the sun sets over the Southwestern desert Tuesday, May 9, 2006, in Picacho Peak, Ariz. AP Photo/Matt York. If over watered, cactus plants start to rot and collapse. A key issue in retaining water is the ratio of surface area to volume. Although slow-growing, a cactus plant is fairly self-sustaining as it stores moisture in its roots, leaves and stems, and so largely regulates its own food intake. Dragonfruits come from a cactus. When the plants are growing, they need to be watered whenever the surface of the soil is dry. in Cactus. Thorns. You can even grow cactus indoors in containers. Cactus plants are an extraordinary group of plants among succulents, which are already pretty amazing. 13. Cactus is the singular word for the plant, cacti or cactuses are the plural forms. There are around 2000 different species of cactus that differ in size, shape, color and type of habitat. Easter Cactus. All of the holiday cacti need to be watered regularly, as they are not drought resistant like regular cacti. Native to the rainforests in Brazil, the Christmas cactus is a popular, low maintenance houseplant and a favorite pass-along plant that can live for years. This is because cacti produce the fleshy leaves but lack other characteristics familiar to the family. The cuticle covering cactus stems is waterproof and very thick compared to the outer skin of other plants. But first, some cool cactus facts! As you may be able to guess from the name, the Easter Cactus is a cousin to the Christmas Cactus. 11. The importance of a plant increases depending upon the plant facts. In fact, essential fatty acids are also proven to increase intelligence, so this is a tremendous benefit. The cactus family – Cactaceae – includes about 2000 species of plants distributed in places of desert or very dry climate, mainly in Central America and South America, although they have been introduced and adapted to other places of dry and warm climate, as Australia, the Mediterranean and East Africa. May 8, 2019, 4:46 pm. Jovibarba heuffelii. Plants like the cacti and other succulents are typically found in … As they able to live in the extreme environments where water is rare; their thorns, spines (they are infact modified leaves)are important to conserve water, to defend themself against the water-seeking animal and to protect themself against the excessive sunlight. It is a non flowering plant. The characteristics make a huge difference in your garden plant choice. That said, a succulent is not considered a cactus. They can survive long periods of drought (a lack of water). Plants of the Cactus Family If you find a thick, succulent plant with clusters of spines it is certainly a member of the Cactus family. 2. There are many characteristics of Cactus. A cactus doesn’t have leaves like other plants do. The ovary is positioned inferior and consists of 2 or more united carpels (syncarpous) forming a single chamber. – Source. These spines and scales do not lose water through evaporation (unlike regular leaves, which lose a lot of water). Classification of cactus species There are between 1500-1800 different cactus species, which fall into two main groups or categories – 1. Cactus Plant Shapes Maximize Internal Volume. Characteristics of Cactus. • Greatly reduced or modified leaves or none at all. Now that we know how the evolution of the cactus could have been, let’s see what their characteristics are; that is, what their parts are: Areola. 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