Botanical name: Cactaceae
Botanical name: Cactaceae
Species of Cactuses
The name hedgehog cactusses is given to the wide-ranging genus, Echinopsis (which itself means "appearing like a hedgehog"). At least 180 species fall under the Echinopsis genus, as do many artificial hybrids.
Ferocactus are large-sized, barrel-shaped cacti. They have large spines, prominent ribs, and fragrant flowers. As drought-loving plants, they are native to the deserts of North America and Latin America. They are named 'Ferocactus' after their spines, as this term derives from the Greek words for "fierce spines."
Mammillaria are recognized as cacti with clusters of column-like or spherical stems, mammillaria produce tubular-shaped flowers. They are low-growing evergreens that are often cultivated for containers in tropical climates. Gardeners like them as they are easy to look after.
Turbinicarpus is a genus of very small to medium-sized cacti, which inhabit the north-eastern regions of Mexico.
Ariocarpus is a small genus of succulent, subtropical plants of the family Cactaceae. Plants have thick tuberous tap-roots, and are solitary or form small clusters of stems. The stems have tubercules (as is normal in cacti), but unusually these are triangular and in some species may resemble leaves. The areoles, when present, vary in appearance from grooves on the upper surface to round pads near the tips. Spines are only present in seedlings. The funnel-shaped flowers are borne on a woolly structure at the apex. They vary in colour, from white or yellow to pink, purple or magenta. The seeds are black and pear-shaped. With one exception, the genus is native to the central parts of Mexico, the northeast and the southwest.
Leuchtenbergia is a monotypic genus. Leuchtenbergia is very slow-growing but can eventually grow up to 70 cm high, with a cylindrical stem which becomes bare and corky at the base with age. It has long, slender, grayish-green tubercles, with purplish-red blotches at their tips. The tubercles are topped with papery spines, making the plant resemble an agave; old, basal tubercles dry up and fall off. After four years or so, yellow, funnel-shaped flowers may be borne at the tubercle tips. The fruit is smooth and green. It has a large, tuberous taproot. It is native to north-central Mexico.
Artichoke cactus resembles an inverted green pine cone with a woolly center. Artichoke cactus is a genus of cacti with a single species. It is endemic to the state of Tamaulipas in Mexico.
Stenocactus are a genus of cacti that are adored by succulent enthusiasts for their attractively wrinkled leaves and spiny thorns. They are great to grow in containers and flower more readily than many other cacti. These plants are easily identified by their vertical leaf ribs that look like fins.
Strombocactus includes only one species. It has a strong turnip-like root, a small, sunken, roughly spherical stem covered with spirally arranged overlapping tubercles, each with a spine-bearing areole at its tip. Flowers come from new growth at the crown, and the cactus's small seeds are difficult to see with the naked eye. The plant originates from Central and Northeast Mexico.
Cleistocactus is a genus of flowering plants in the cactus family Cactaceae. The stems of these cacti are tall, mostly slender and often many-branched with numerous ribs with closely set areoles and spines. The flowers are tubular and the tips hardly open with only the style and stamens usually protruding. Cleistocactus is native to mountainous areas to 3000 m of South America.
Beehive cactusses are a genus of small cacti native to southern North America. The Latin name of this genus, Coryphantha, derives from Greek koryphe (= head) and anthos (= flower), in reference to the fact that the flowers of these plants arise from the top of the stem. Many species significantly change their form as they mature and are popularly cultivated as house plants.
Brasiliopuntia shows thin, slightly shrunken cladodes on a central cylindrical trunk. The leaves are bright green. White areoles bear one or two small brown upright spines. Light brown flowers appear only on adult plants. It is found in Brazil, Paraguay, eastern Bolivia, Peru and northern Argentina, and has become naturalized in Florida among other places.
Mature plants are easily recognizable by their cephalium, a wool- and bristle-coated structure at the apex of the plant, containing a mass of areoles from which the small flowers grow. The fruits of melon cactus are pink and resemble the shape of pepper fruits. Melon cactus is a genus of cactus with about 30–40 species. They are native to Americas, with some species along the Andes down to southern Peru, and a concentration of species in northeastern Brazil.
Pelecyphora is a genus of cacti, comprising 2 species. They originate from Mexico.
Queen of the night
Queen of the night is a genus of vining cacti, comprising about 18 species, found from the southwestern United States and Mexico. They have a large underground tuber, thin and inconspicuous stems.
Barrel Cactus are a small genus of cacti native to Mexico. They are characterized by their abundance of spines and comparatively small flowers. The special distinction that separates this genus from others is the copiously woolly fruits produced by each plant belonging to this genus. Some members of the genus are cultivated ornamentally thanks to their ease of care, perfect roundness, and interesting spines.
Rebutia are small flowering cacti that originate in South America. The genus was given its name 'Rebutia' in homage to the French cactus cultivator, Monsieur P. Rebut. These cacti are petite, globular, and vibrant in color. They produce flowers that are comparable in size to their cactus bodies and grow on hills and mountains in the wild. Many rebutia are popularly cultivated as houseplants thanks to their magnificent blooms.
Cephalocereus are a large genus containing over a hundred species of cacti, all of which are native to the Americas. Many of these cacti are grown ornamentally. Like most cacti, these are arid-climate specialists that are characterized by their thick water-conserving stems and protective outer layer of hairs.
Pygmaeocereus are small cacti native to South America. They are characteristic for their short height, as well as for having complex and fairly large tuberous roots to store nutrients and water. In the blooming season, their attractive, scented flowers open at nighttime. Besides their interesting appearance, pygmaeocereus are hardy and undemanding, so some species are popular houseplants.
Espostoa is a genus of columnar cacti, comprising 16 species known from the Andes of southern Ecuador and Peru. These candle-like cacti are covered with thorns and white hair. In adulthood, a cephalium sometimes appears, similar to the Mexican genus Cephalocereus.
Pereskia, as traditionally circumscribed, is a genus of cacti that do not look much like other types of cacti, having substantial leaves and thin stems. Plants are leafy and spiny, treelike, shrubby, and often scrambling. Leaves are generally alternate, broad, flattened, deciduous, usually with petioles, 2 - 20 cm long. The young primary areoles on twigs normally have up to eight spines, while areoles on trunks usually have more (15 to 40, up to 120) straight, usually black spines of unequal length. Flowers are solitary, or sometimes in inflorescences of 2–15 flowers; the flowers are 2 - 8 cm in diameter, usually pink, rose, or purple, but sometimes orange, yellow, white, or cream. Fruits are solitary or in clusters. They are variable in shape, but generally oblong and/or pear-shaped. When mature, fruits usually become green or yellow-green but also orange, reddish, or brownish. Seeds are 2 - 7 mm large, obovate to kidney shaped, and glossy black. This genus includes about 17 species. Pereskia originates from the region between Brazil and Mexico. Most of the species are found in dry forests or thorny scrub, in tropical climates with a dry season of two to five months.
Hedgehog cactus are small-to-medium sized plants that are easier to cultivate in home conditions than many other cactus groups, with attractive blooming occurring in the spring if the plants are growing in optimal conditions. The "hedgehog" part of the common name "Hedgehog cacti" refers to the shape of its spiny fruits.
Genus myrtillocactus is comprised of a small group of handsome tropical cacti. The name means "blueberry cactus" in Latin, and for good reason – one species within the genus, the Bilberry Cactus (M. geometrizans) forms fruits that look similar to blueberries. These cacti are also cultivated as ornamentals.
Climbing cacti are unique cacti that lack spines and are not bulbous in structure. They are called "climbing" cacti because they are usually epiphytic, meaning they grow on other plants instead of in the ground. All species bloom with beautiful, fragrant, white flowers at night and many bloom for a single evening only. Some climbing cacti are cultivated for ornamental purposes.
Night-blooming cactus do exactly what their common name would suggest - they bloom almost exclusively at night, often producing very large, showy white flowers. Many species also produce widely-cultivated edible fruits: dragonfruits. Whether cultivated for food, flowers, or both, night-blooming cactus are favorites among gardeners living in hot, relatively arid climates.
Mistletoe cacti are flowering cacti found around the world. They are the only true cactus group that have a natural distribution in the Old World. The genus name Rhipsalis comes from the Greek term for wickerwork, which refers to the plants' looks. Several species of mistletoe cacti are regularly cultivated as houseplants, while some are listed as endangered.
Bergerocactus consistof just one species, Bergerocactus emoryi. This is a dry-climate specialist cactus that grows in large and impressive stands in its native chapparal habitat. Thankfully it is still common despite the loss of parts of its habitat to urban growth. This plant is native to coastal regions of southern California and Baja California.
A genus of flowering cacti, parodia are very diverse in shape, including everything from small ground-hugging balls to meter-tall columns. Despite their vicious spines, many species have been domesticated by cactus fanciers, and can be found for sale for use in rock and cactus gardens and as potted plants.
Neobuxbaumia is a genus of cacti. The strong, cylindrical, gray-green shoots have numerous, low ribs and tight-fitting areoles. The thorns are stiff or pliable. The small cylindrical to bell-shaped flowers are white or pink and open during the day. Its flower cup and the flower tube have rather large humps, have small fleshy scales and are bare at the flowering time or occupied with few bristles. The egg-shaped fruits are thorny, tear vertically and have a perennial remnant of flowers. They contain a white, dry pulp. The seeds are light or dark brown and shiny.
Hard cactus are ovoid to elongate cylindric, have rigid stems with tubercles that are generally coalesced into ribs, and are covered with spines that come out of the areoles. Most species have at least one hooked spine at each areole. It comprises about 15 species. These plants are found in higher elevation deserts such as on the Colorado Plateau, or in the Mohave Desert or the Great Basin.
Stetsonia grows to a height of 4.5 - 8 m tall. It has white flowers. Stetsonia is a genus of cactus, with the sole species. The plant is native to the deserts and dry forest (Gran Chaco) of Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay.
Some of the most widespread cacti in the world, prickly pear (Opuntia) are hardy generalists with an iconic forms. Prickly pear grow oblong, pear-shaped paddles that are usually covered with spines. Many species within this genus form brightly colored edible fruits, which have been eaten by humans for millenia. Though they can be eaten raw, they can also be incorporated into baked goods, jellies, and jams.
Cereus are highly distinctive plants. The Latin name Cereus of this genus is derived from the Greek word for "candle" presumably due to cacti in this genus commonly being tall and columnar in form (some grow up to 15 m!). Cereus also tend to have deep ribs and lots of spines along with sporting large, showy flowers, which are usually white, pink, or pale purple in color.
Austrocylindropuntia comprise a small genus of several cacti that are distinct for lacking paper sheaths on their spines. They produce lovely blooms that come in all shades of warm colors. In addition to blooming gorgeous flowers, these species are extremely hardy and fast-growing, making them great landscaping plants in warm climates.
Growing in dry, sunny desert areas, thelocactus are popular with cactus enthusiasts and are often collected as indoor plants. Species in the genus have an attractive rounded growth form and freely produce flowers in optimal conditions. Their ease of care also adds to their popularity. The plants spread by seed but are often propagated by gardeners through cuttings.
Astrophytum are popularly cultivated as they are easy to grow, maintain, and have an attractive aesthetic, with most members producing beautiful flowers. This genus derives its Latin name Astrophytum from the Greek words for star and plant, referencing the star shape that most species of the genus form. The hair that these plants grow protects them from sun damage.
A group of branching cacti with sharply barbed spines, chollas are native to the Americas and West Indies. They are sometimes used as a impassable hedge, or as a feature in cactus gardens. Primarily, however, these plants are harvested, shaved, and dried into cholla wood, a water- and rot-resistant wood often used in terrariums or pet habitats.
A group of small, spineless cacti, lophophora have a very small native range in the American Southwest. They include the infamous Peyote plant as well as other species. Rare to begin with, member plants are currently endangered due to a combination of slow growth and reproduction, habitat loss, and over-collecting from the wild by cactus enthusiasts.
Neolloydia is a genus of cacti. The genus is uniquely found in the dry scrub areas of southern Texas (Big Bend) and the Chihuahua Desert of Northeast Mexico. This genus includes 5 species.