A cactus is a member of the plant family Cactaceae, a family comprising about 127 genera with some 1750 known species of the order Caryophyllales. Cacti are succulent perennial plants. Cacti generally have thick herbaceous or woody chlorophyll-containing stems.
Cacti can be distinguished from other succulent plants by the presence of areoles, small cushionlike structures with trichomes (plant hairs) and, in almost all species, spines or barbed bristles (glochids). Areoles are modified branches, from which flowers, more branches, and leaves (when present) may grow.
As a plant used for landscaping projects for both private homes and public paces and business premises, they are very popular. There are many garden centres and retailers listed in this category that grow and propagate cactus who will be found here.
Cactus for your health
Adding cactus to your daily diet will give you a lot of health benefits. This is because it is rich in vitamins and nutrients.
A study found that eating cactus can reduce body fat, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Incorporating cactus fruits into your diet can help reduce the risk of diseases like stroke, coronary heart disease, and peripheral vascular diseases.
Cacti occur in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Although some species live in quite humid environments, most cacti live in habitats subject to at least some drought. Many live in extremely dry environments, even being found in the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on Earth. Because of this, cacti show many adaptations to conserve water. For example, almost all cacti are succulents, meaning they have thickened, fleshy parts adapted to store water. Unlike many other succulents, the stem is the only part of most cacti where this vital process takes place. Most species of cacti have lost true leaves, retaining only spines, which are highly modified leaves. As well as defending against herbivores, spines help prevent water loss by reducing airflow close to the cactus and providing some shade. In the absence of true leaves, cacti's enlarged stems carry out photosynthesis. Cacti are native to the Americas, ranging from Patagonia in the south to parts of western Canada in the north—except for Rhipsalis baccifera, which also grows in Africa and Sri Lanka.
These thorny succulents that complement any environment always have and up to this day remain a wonder to humans as well as animals in the wild. A hungry creature will eat anything in its path to stay alive, and as such, they are continually looking for food. The ones that have tried extracting the juices from this plant have done it at their own risk. Most of the time, coming out of the ordeal with nothing but painful stabs in their mouths and paws by the sharp spikes the cactus plant has.
The cacti species has been widely researched to find what makes them worthy of having a whole family named in its honour. What sets them apart from most flora is the physical outlook that no other plant on the planet possesses.