Cactus plants may be cultivated and maintained at home, and they make excellent houseplants. If you want to cultivate this kind of plant, there are a slew of cactus to pick from. House cacti may be stunning when they bloom, and cacti come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Outside, in hot and dry climates, many different types of cacti can thrive. Several cactus species thrive in warm, humid environments that are found in tropical regions.
Caring For Different Types of Cactus
Cactus varieties require minimal upkeep, which is one of the greatest features of having them as houseplants. Indoor cactus plants need to be kept in a tiny pot on a bright window sill and watered from time to time. Bunny Ears, Christmas cactus, Moon cactus, and the Balloon cactus are some of the most popular indoor varieties of cacti.
Cacti are well-known for their ability to grow in the desert outdoors. Planting different types of cacti in your garden or rock garden may add color and interest if you live in a warm environment. The Arizona Barrel Cactus, Prickly Pear, and Old Man Cactus are some of the best desert cactus types for outdoors cultivation.
Cactus Plant Features
A variety of unique succulent-type plants thrive in dry conditions and belong to the cactus plant family (Cactaceae). Cacti come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they are all native to the Americas. Cactus plants differ from many forms of succulents, despite the fact that they are classified as succulents. Rather than in their succulent leaves, cactus keep their moisture in their stems.
Cactus stems range in color from light green to dark green. Cactus plants photosynthesize in a way that is one of their distinguishing characteristics. Cactus species, in contrast to other plants, absorb carbon dioxide at night when the temperature is lower. As a result, there is less evaporation on a hot day.
After major rains, several kinds of desert cactus stems have ribs that allow the plant to grow. Cacti’s spines are another characteristic that distinguishes them. If your skin gets pricked by some types of cactus spines, they may cause discomfort. Several cactus types have softer spines to defend themselves. The Prickly Pear, for example, has hair-like spines that may cause discomfort if they get embedded in your skin.
The flowers of all cactus species are one of the most remarkable aspects. Cactus blooms may be lovely, even if they last for a brief time. From deep pinks to exquisite hues of red, cactus blooms come in a variety of colors. In addition, several varieties of cactus have yellow, orange, white, and burgundy blooms.
Cacti, in particular, bloom, which is one of the key distinctions between them and other types of succulents.
How to Identify Cactus Varieties
The shape, blooming habits, and spines or hairs are often used to identify cactuses. Cactus have a variety of shapes, including spherical, columnar, cylindrical, and disc; and sharp or soft spines develop in distinctive locations. Depending on when it blooms, you may identify the variety of cactus.
House cacti are small succulent plants that thrive in sandy soil and full sun exposure. Cactus plants should be handled with care in general. Cactus species with hard, pointy spines might pierce the epidermis and cause harm. Due to their soft barbed spines, even fuzzy-looking cactus with hairy skin may cause skin irritation.
Types of Cactus (With Pictures and Names) – Identification Guide
So now that you are aware that cacti are easy to maintain blooming plants, let’s explore the various kinds of cacti available for indoor and outdoor cultivation.
Bunny Ears Cactus (Opuntia microdasys)
Cactus with rabbit ears is known as the Bunny Ears. This cactus is ideal as a houseplant due to its tiny stature. Bunny Ears cactus, a flowering species that thrives equally indoors and out, is a Mexican native that flourishes in both settings. Bunny cactus, Angel’s Wings, or Polka-Dot cactus are some of the other names for this fascinating bunny ears cactus.
The Bunny Ears plant, which features green pads that resemble rabbit ears, is a funny houseplant. The height of an indoor cactus may range from 15 to 23 inches (40 to 60 cm). The Bunny Ears cactus, like most cacti, is a slow-growing plant that takes several years to reach its full height. Yellow flowers may be seen blooming on the Bunny Ears from time to time.
Fine hair-like spines (glochids) cover the Bunny Ears cactus, which are very thin. If you brush against the plant and it lodges in your skin, they may cause a significant amount of skin irritation. The plant has a dotted appearance similar to polka dots due to the white or yellow glochids.
Did you know that removing cactus glochids with sticky tape is one of the best ways?
Cactus Identification: The flat, disc-shaped stems of the Bunny Ears cactus are covered in little tufts of tiny hairs and are easily identified. Because of the rabbit ears look, this cactus is very easy to identify.
Old Lady Cactus (Mammillaria hahniana)
The Old Lady cactus is a huge, spherical cactus with spikes and tiny spines that may be cultivated indoors. A plant with the appearance of a huge pincushion is the Old Lady cactus. The cactus can reach a diameter of 20 inches (50 cm) and a height of 10 inches (25 cm).
The reddish-purple blooms that may emerge from time to time are one of the appealing aspects of this desert cactus. These little blossoms bloom around the cactus’ crown, in a circle. Most people have success growing this cactus indoors in a big container because it requires a hot, dry environment to thrive.
Cactus Identification: The spherical cactus has a hairy look with its distinctive globe-like form covered in delicate white fuzzy spines. The papery purple blooms that bloom on the flattened top of this globular cactus are another characteristic.
Balloon Cactus (Parodia magnifica)
The Balloon cactus, also known as the Parodia magnifica, is a gorgeous spherical cactus with a magnificent yellow bloom. The rib-like form of the beautiful globe-shaped Balloon cactus is accented with rows of white or yellow spines along the edge. The big yellow blossom that appears on the top of this huge cactus when it blooms is another remarkable aspect. The Balloon Cactus may grow to be 6 inches (15 cm) tall and 18 inches (45 cm) broad.
Cactus Identification: The side of the spherical green plant of the Balloon cactus is dotted with distinguishable ridges. The cactus top blooms with a yellow flower, and each ridge has unique slender yellowish spines.
Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera)
The Christmas cactus, which is native to Brazil’s tropical regions, blooms throughout the winter. The Christmas cactus is just one of several varieties of cacti in the Schlumbergera family. This cactus has long, flat segmented stems that lack leaves. The Christmas cactus is named for the fact that it blooms throughout the winter season.
This cactus variety is ideal for hanging baskets or placing on top of furniture due to the trailing flowering stems. White, pink, yellow, and red flowers may be seen on this blooming cactus species. Cacti of the Schlumbergera genus bloom at different times of year and have various species.
The Easter cactus (now classified as the Hatiora genius), Thanksgiving cactus, and Holiday cactus are some other related species of cacti. The Christmas cactus flowers need to be kept in cool, dry conditions with 12–14 hours of darkness each day to ensure they bloom.
Cactus Identification: The flattened rectangular green leaf-like leaves with scalloped edges are the identifying feature of the Christmas cactus. The 6″ to 12″ (15 – 30 cm) long and up to 24″ (60 cm) wide segmented succulent “leaves” may grow. The form of the leaves should be used to differentiate a Christmas cactus from an Easter or Thanksgiving cactus. The rounded leaves with scalloped edges and soft hairs distinguish the Easter cactus. The leaves of the Thanksgiving cactus are flat, with pointed or spikey edges.
Powder Puff Cactus (Mammillaria)
Mammillaria backebergiana ernestii (left) and Mammillaria boolii (right) are two cultivars of the Mammillaria family of cacti.
The Powder Puff cactus is a little spherical cactus that belongs to the Mammillaria genus of cacti. The Powder Puff cactus is a slow-growing species of cactus with delicate hairy spines that resembles a ball in shape. The Powder Puff cactus is one of the easiest to care for, thanks to its various cacti in the Mammillaria family. The spherical cactus will grow to be around 3 inches (7.5 cm) tall and broad.
The Powder Puff cactus requires a lot of sunlight and should never be watered more than slightly, as with other cacti. Powder Puff flowers, which create a crown on the top, are likely to bloom in the summertime. Some of the following are other popular cacti from the Mammillaria genius:
Mammillaria backebergiana ernestii It’s a tall cylindrical cactus with a cylindrical appearance.
Mammillaria boolii A tiny spherical cactus with hair-like spines all over it. The relatively large flowers that bloom on this little cactus are an appealing feature of this plant.
Mammillaria mystax The flowers are red-violet and bloom in April and May. It is indigenous to Mexico.
Cactus Identification: The Powder Puff cactus has a spherical, ball-like form with clusters of pointed spines that distinguishes it. The magnificent blossoming plant produces a stunning crown of purple, pink, or white blooms while it is in bloom.
Moon Cactus (Gymnocalycium mihanovichii)
The Moon cactus is a colorful variant of the regular cactus with a red, pink, orange, or yellow top that originates in Paraguay and Argentina. Cacti with ribbed stems that cannot produce chlorophyll are known as moon cacti. As a result, they must be put on a succulent for development. Moon cactus plants are commonly sold grafted already. They might resemble a blossomy cactus atop a columnar succulent, which is their natural habitat.
Bright pink, orange, red, and yellow hues adorn these lovely cactus species. These houseplants prefer partial shade, unlike other kinds of indoor cacti. Every time the soil dries out, you should also water the cactus thoroughly. During the winter, don’t drink or bathe.
Cactus Identification: The bright ribbed ball sitting on top of a columnar three-sided cactus makes it easy to identify a moon cactus.
Chin Cactus (Gymnocalycium)
The Chin cactus, Gymnocalycium baldianum, is a tiny spherical indoor cactus that originates in South America. The chin cactus variety (Gymnocalycium) gets its name from the fact that it’s “hairless” or “spineless.” The Gymnocalycium genus has over 70 species, all of which produce vividly colored blooms. The smallest varieties of this cactus, which grow up to 6” (15 cm) in diameter, may be as small as 1.5” (4 cm).
Cactus Identification: The round form and huge colorful red, white, or pink blooms of Chin cacti varieties identify them. Some Chin cactus types have soft or sharp spines along the ridged borders, despite the fact that others are “spineless.”
Star Cactus (Astrophytum asterias)
The Star cactus, a tiny form of round cactus that some claim resembles a sea urchin, is native to Texas. It is a popular kind of indoor cactus plant. The Star cactus has a puffed-up spherical appearance with multiple divisions in its body. Rows of white dots with tiny hairs cover each of the segments. With a huge yellow bloom on top, the cactus should bloom in the spring.
Many cultivars have been developed since this type of cactus is a popular houseplant. The Astrophytum asterias ‘Super Kabuto,’ for example, is an attractive decorative cactus with patterns of fascinating white dots over the body.
Cactus Identification: The Star cactus has white dots, fine hairs, and a line of raised tufts along the center of each segment. It is a green cactus with a smooth round, bulging shape. In the spring, these non-prickly cactus flowers feature a pale yellow color.
Astrophytum asterias ‘Super Kabuto’
Fairy Castle Cactus (Acanthocereus Tetragonus)
The Fairy Castle Cactus is a tall, columnar cactus with long dark green angular spiny stems. It has new buds that look like castle turrets. Three to five ridges per cactus stem, each with six to eight 1.6” (4 cm) long spiky tufts, may be seen. Greenish-white blooms adorn the Fairy Castle cactus.
The curving stems of the main stems give the cactus its name, Fairy Castle or Fairytale Castle. The turrets of a castle are depicted as this characteristic. The Fairy Castle cactus is a popular decorative plant with its one-of-a-kind form.
Cactus identification: The lengthy green spiky stems, tiny side shoots on the stems, and pale orange blooms distinguish the Fairy Castle cactus. The cactus may reach a height of 6 feet (1.8 meters).
Lady Finger Cactus (Mammillaria elongata)
The Lady Finger cactus is a tiny cactus that has stubby columnar stems covered in pointy fuzzy spines. It is distinguished by its thick clusters of wooly golden cylindrical stalks. Due to the sharp spikes, the cylindrical green stems have a yellow or white appearance.
The upright cactus stems are up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall and 1.6 inch (4 cm) in diameter. The Lady Finger cactus, like all cactus plants, has flowers on the top sections of its stems. The petals of the flowers are light yellow or white, and they grow amid the hairy areoles. From late winter to early summer, the densely packed yellowish-green cactus blooms.
Cactus identification: The cylindrical stems of the Lady Finger cactus are woolly areoles with short yellowish spines in radial patterns, and pale-yellow blooms.
Feather Cactus (Mammillaria plumosa)
The Feather cactus resembles a fluffy spherical ball of white cotton wool with its rounded wooly form. The cactus has a fuzzy, white downy appearance due to the clumps of globular stems covered in woolly, white downy substance. The blooming cactus is covered by small pointed spines that are disguised by the soft feathery covering.
The diameter of each spherical cactus stem is roughly 3 inches (7 centimeters). A soft, feathery, downy substance and jagged spires cover the plant, like many cacti in the genus Mammillaria. The cactus’ flowers, which have hints of pink and yellow, bloom at the same time as the cactus.
Cactus identification: The cotton wool-like covering, spherical form, and spiky surface distinguish the feather cactus from other cacti.
Bishop’s Cap Cactus (Astrophytum myriostigma)
The Bishop’s Cap cactus has yellow or white blooms and three to seven prominent vertical ribs. It is a spineless, spherical cactus. The cactus has a star-shaped appearance from above. The cactus resembles a bishop’s hat from the side. In the spring, yellow or white flowers bloom on the Bishop’s Cap cactus.
The star-shaped cactus is also known as the bishop’s hat or bishop’s miter cactus because of its grayish-green color. The spherical cactus may reach a height of 3 feet (1 meter) and a diameter of 8 inches (20 centimeters) in the wild. The slow-growing cactus, on the other hand, remains a tiny star cactus plant as a houseplant.
Cactus identification: The Bishop’s Cap cactus has a bluish-green or grayish-green color and appears like a bulging star with five pronounced vertical ribs.
Star Rock Cactus (Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus)
The Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus cactus has pink blooms with triangular stems that form a disc shape. The cactus has a flat, woolly top and triangular tubercles (stems) that protrude outward around the border. The top becomes covered with vividly colored pink blooms when it blooms.
The diameter of the Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus plant ranges from 3 to 7.5 cm. This little star-shaped cactus has flowers that grow up to 1″ (2.5 cm) in diameter. The cactus is also known as the “living rock cactus” because of its gravel-like appearance.
Cactus identification: The cactus Star Rock is a disc-shaped plant with distinctive pointed triangular stems.
Crown Cactus (Rebutia marsoneri)
The Crown Cactus has crimson, pink, yellow, or orange blooms and tiny rounded stalks with a diameter of 3.5 in (7.5 cm). The cactus’ rough surface is covered in soft, flexible light brown or white spines that form tufts. From its base, the globular cactus plant produces showy yellow, orange, pink, or red flowers.
Clumping growth characterizes the flowering spherical cactus. Clusters of small cactus spheres develop into bigger ones. One of the earliest cacti to bloom in the spring is the Crown Cactus. Rebutia minuscula is the scientific name for the little spherical cactus.
Cactus identification: The spiny tufts that cover the bumpy surface of the Crown Cactus are small globe-like cactus with white or tan color.
Spiny Pincushion Cactus (Mammillaria spinosissima var. ‘Rubrispina’)
The spiny pincushion cactus (Mammillaria spinosissima var. ‘Rubrispina’) has crimson spines on a cylindrical or spherical form. The little spherical cactus may reach a height of 12 inches (30 centimeters) and a diameter of 4 inches (10 centimeters). However, in small pots indoors, the slow-growing cactus has limited growth. The spiny pincushion cactus blooms with funnel-shaped pink blossoms during its flowering season.
Cactus identification: The spiny pincushion cactus with bright red-orange spikes stands out against the green surface of this rough spherical cactus, which is known as the ‘Super Red.’
Eriosyce Cactus (Eriosyce senilis)
The Eriosyce cactus is a tiny spherical fuzzy cactus with pink blooms. This twisted feathery spines decorated cylindrical cactus has a barrel shape. The fuzzy top produces brilliant pink blooms when it’s in bloom. Little fuzzy cactus require little pots and prefer bright, dry environments with plenty of sunlight to thrive.
Cactus identification: The tiny spherical cactus is wrapped in woolly spines or hay, which makes it easy to distinguish from the Eriosyce cactus. Multi-colored spines adorn the cactus of certain Eriosyce cacti species.
Rat’s Tail Cactus (Aporocactus flagelliformis)
Because of its drooping cylindrical stems, the Rat’s Tail Cactus is a excellent succulent plant for hanging baskets (up to 6.5 ft. (2 m). Tufts of tan spikes and fuzzy white hairs cover the slender tube-like spherical “tails.” The Rat’s Tail cactus has funnel-shaped flowers that are bright scarlet pink when it is in bloom.
The Rat’s Tail cactus is one of the most spectacular cacti for hanging baskets due to its vibrant flowers and long swinging succulent stems. An eye-catching display is provided by the cascading tuberculate stems and colorful flowers. Whip Cactus and Rattail Cactus are two other names for the Rat’s Tail Cactus.
Cactus identification: The 3 to 6 feet (1 – 2 m) long spiky tubular stems and beautiful floral exhibitions of brilliant pink blooms distinguish the Rat’s Tail Cactus.
Silver Ball Cactus (Notocactus scopa)
The Silver Ball Cactus has white tufts, yellowish-brown spines, and a wooly crown. It has a rounded/cylindrical fuzzy appearance. The 2″ to 20″ (5 – 50 cm) tall and 4″ (10 cm) broad cactus is round in shape. The cactus blooms are bright yellow and have a crimson center at the apex of the plant. This is a spectacular houseplant that grows in full sun and has long spines.
Cactus identification: On this spherical green cactus with a yellowish, spiny look, the silver ball cactus is recognized by its yellow blooms.
Outdoor Types of Cactus (With Pictures and Names) – Identification Guide
Cactus plants may be added to your garden landscape in a variety of ways, including planting outdoors. Cacti are drought-tolerant plants that can withstand difficult situations in general. All forms of cactus, however, need moist to dry soil in order to grow outdoors. Their roots might rot if there is too much water.
There are several small cactus species that are suitable for container growing outdoors, even if you have a tiny garden or balcony. Let’s take a look at some popular cactus that may be grown outdoors.
Arizona Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus wislizeni)
Young Arizona barrel cactus with flowers on the right
The Arizona Barrel cactus (left) and the Goliath Barrel cactus (right) are two different types of cacti that may be found in the Sonoran Desert. The Arizona Barrel is a giant round cactus with a 2-foot (60-centimeter) diameter that may reach a height of 6 feet (1.3 meters). While the most popular varieties reach a height of 3 to 4 feet (0.9 to 1.2 meters).
The ribs of the Arizona barrel cactus are covered in yellow hooked spines that cover its olive-green skin. This cactus thrives in dry conditions and gets enough moisture from rare floods. The Arizona Barrel cactus blooms in the middle of June and its blooms are a gorgeous crimson-orange hue. These Arizona cacti, when planted in a grid pattern, may create a stunning feature in your garden.
Cactus Identification: A kind of ball cactus with hard, pointed spines, the Arizona Barrel cactus is a species. This spherical spiky cactus has a cylindrical form with thick, leathery, prominent ridges, as do many globe-shaped cacti. When the cactus is in bloom in the spring or summer, red or yellow blooms create a colorful ring around its spiky, woolly top.
Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia)
Prickly Pear cacti bloom in purple or rose-colored blooms and are known as Beavertail cactus (Opuntia basilaris). The Beavertail Prickly Pear and Indian Fig Pear are two of the most common species of Prickly Pear cacti. Large barbed spines up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in length are common on this outdoor cactus variety. The skin of these cactus spikeds is very vulnerable. This kind of cactus is also prone to shedding its spines, making it unsuitable for all gardens. Large flattened pad-like structures, which are light blue-green in color, make up the cactus.
Prickly Pear cacti come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they may be used for many purposes. The Beavertail cactus (Opuntia basilaris) may develop into a 15″ (40 cm) tall shrub-like plant with pink flowers, for example. A spineless form of cactus, the tall Indian Fig (Opuntia ficus-indica) can grow to 23 feet (7 meters) in height! Try the Santa Rita prickly pear cactus if you want a prickly pear to adorn your garden and have chilly winters. This may grow to a height of 1.5 feet (45 cm) and tolerate temperatures as low as 15°F (-9°C).
Cactus Identification: The large, flat pads of a Prickly Pear cactus are covered in long white spines, making it easy to identify. Prickly Pear cacti have fine barbed hairs that may penetrate the skin, resulting in irritation.
The Saguaro cactus grows up to 40 feet (12 meters) tall and has a relatively sluggish growth rate. This desert cactus has the typical “cactus” look, so you may recognize it. The central body of the Saguaro cactus is tall and slender, with tree-like “arms.” In deserts in Mexico, Arizona, and California, this sort of columnar cactus is frequently seen. Some Saguaro cactus species produce arm-like structures, while others are simply tall columns. This cactus variety’s ribs have a lot of strong sharp spines that run up the length of it.
The Saguaro cactus is a blooming plant, similar to other cactus species. Late spring to early summer is when the enormous cactus blooms with white flowers. Red delicious fruits develop after the flowers have ripened that are rich in softiness. You may cultivate this cactus species indoors in a pot, even though it grows to be huge outdoors. The Saguaro cactus can only grow an inch (2.5 cm) in height over a ten-year period due to its poor growth rate.
Cactus Identification: The columnar growth of the Saguaro cactus with arm-like, arching stems is simple to identify. The cactus columns have a ribbed appearance due to the vertical upright desert plant’s spiky ribs.
Queen of the Night (Epiphyllum oxypetalum)
The Queen of the Night (Epiphyllum oxypetalum) cactus gets its name from the fact that its lovely white flowers merely bloom at night, making it a kind of orchid cactus. The Dutchman’s Pipe cactus is another name for this orchid-like cactus. The queen of the night is a blooming kind of cactus with long cylindrical ribbed columns that originated in Southern Mexico and South America. Cactus stems may reach a height of 20 feet (6 meters) in some cases. Smaller stems branch off from the main green stem, producing white blooms that emit a nice odor.
The large flowers of this kind of cactus are one of the reasons it is prized. The Queen of the Night’s blooms may be up to 11 inches (28 cm) long and 5 inches (13 cm) broad. When the temperature falls to between 52 and 57°F (11 and 14°C), this variety of flowering cactus blooms at night. Queen of the Night cacti thrive in indirect sunlight throughout the day and are a kind of tropical cactus. This kind of cactus is best grown as an indoor houseplant if you live in colder regions.
Cactus Identification: The spectacular white blooms of the Queen of the Night bloom only once a year at night. Flat, long, trailing stems with wavy edges characterize the Queen of the Night cactus.
The Old Man Cactus (Cephalocereus senilis)
The Old Man Cactus (name: Cephalocereus senilis) is covered in a woolly white cover and is a tall columnar variety of cactus. Every garden can use a tall columnar Old Man cactus as a feature. Stems may range in height from 16 to 52 feet (5 to 15 meters) and grow in clusters. The tubular cactus plant is known as the “Old Man” cactus because of its shaggy white hair that covers it.
The Old Man cactus may take up to ten years to bloom when grown outside. It will now produce yellow, red, or white blooms, although it may have lost some of its distinctive white wooly coat. Sharp hard spines grow beneath the hairy exterior of the tall cactus, which looks like it is covered in soft cotton. Plant the Old Man cactus in well-drained soil and in full sun to get the best results.
Cactus Identification: Because of its cylinder shape and white fuzzy appearance, the Old Man cactus is simple to identify.
Strawberry Cactus (Echinocereus enneacanthus)
The Strawberry cactus is a magenta-flowered blooming cactus plant that thrives in hot, dry environments. A type of blooming cactus with little prickly cactus branches that grows in clusters is known as the Strawberry cactus. The Hedgehog cactus is another name for this plant because of this reason. Around 20 balls can be found in each cluster of cactus stems. The magenta blooms of the Strawberry cactus, an outdoor desert plant, bloom around late spring.
The petals of the funnel-shaped desert bloom are deep pink and contain a black and yellow core. These cactus blooms can stretch 3.5 inches (9 cm) long. The Strawberry cactus’ sharp spines may help brighten up your garden. Yellow, brown, white, and gray are some of the colors available for these inch-long (2 cm) spines.
Cactus Identification: The ribbed columnar spiky stems of the Strawberry cactus, as well as its magenta flowers and reddish-purple edible fruit, distinguish it as a desert plant.
Starfish Cactus (Stapelia grandiflora)
The Starfish cactus has a wide, ten-inch (25 cm) spherical flower with white dots along the margins. Starfish cactus has large reddish-purple star-shaped flowers that are a distinguishing characteristic. The pointed blossoms of the starfish flower emit a strong odor, which is also known as the carrion bloom.
The Starfish cactus is a type of succulent, and it comes in various species and hybrids. Despite its name, the Starfish cactus is not a cactus. The ribbed, upward-pointing succulent green columns grow to a height of 12 inches (30 cm). In late summer and autumn, the clumping succulent plant bears large, showy starfish-shaped blooms that range from orange to deep red or reddish-purple and grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) across. Insects are drawn to the hairy crimson blossoms.
Cactus identification: The Starfish cactus is distinguished by its reddish-scarlet big star shaped bloom and tufted upright pale-green quadrangular stems with upward-pointing hooks on the borders.
Brazilian Prickly Pear (Brasiliopuntia brasiliensis)
The pads of the Brazilian Prickly Pear cactus (left) develop into luscious, succulent fruits, which is a common characteristic of other prickly pear cacti. The tree-like development of this decorative cactus plant with bright green flat stems arising from a central circular cylindrical stem is an unusual characteristic. The cactus plant may grow to be 30 feet (9 meters) tall.
Small spines develop on the “leaf” borders of images of the cactus leaves. The showy cactus blossoms range from golden to bright orange. They then turn into fragrant-smelling, crisp-tender pear-like sweet fruits.
Cactus identification: The slender, robust, rounded pole-like stem of the Brazilian Prickly Pear generates green oval, flattened spiny segments that appear like leaves.
San Pedro Cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi)
The San Pedro cactus is a fast-growing columnar pale green cactus with vertical ridges along its length dotted with white areoles. It has columnar stems and big white blooms. Cactus stems may reach a height of 10 to 20 feet (3 to 6 meters) and a diameter of 6 inches (15 cm). Large, fragrant white blooms bloom late at night and are 9 inches (23 cm) long.
San Pedro cactus plants are suitable for indoor pots or outdoor climates in zones 8 through 10. Numerous sharp spines can be seen in the white areoles that dot the pronounced ridges. The cactus stems have a star-shaped cross section with rounded ends, according to the cross-section.
Cactus identification: Ribbed columnar stems, jaggy spike tufts, and big fragrant white blooms identify the San Pedro cactus.
Walkingstick Cactus (Cylindropuntia spinosior)
Walkingstick cactus has purple-magenta blooms and yellow spiky fruit. The cactus has a dense stem system that branches at right angles from the main stem. The branching cactus has a fuzzy appearance from afar. The Walkingstick cactus can reach a height of 4 feet (1.2 meters).
This cactus species produces deep purple-magenta blooms in the summer and is commonly known as the cane cholla or spiny cholla. Spineless yellow fruit with a knobby look are the next to appear.
Cactus identification: The Walkingstick cactus has branching stems that grow evenly at right angles and are 2 inches to 20 inches (5 to 50 cm) long.
Old Man of the Mountain Cactus (Oreocereus trollii)
The Old Man of the Mountain Cactus has a columnar succulent plant with abundant white hairs that has a tall columnar fuzzy appearance. Long, stiff red spines protrude out of the thin white hair on this slow-growing cactus. The columnar white and spiky red cactus thrives in pots indoors, despite being a tall cactus that grows in clumps in its native South America.
This woolly cactus may grow up to 2 feet (0.6 meters) tall outdoors and is also known as the Old Man of the Andes. The pot size, on the other hand, limits the height and development of plants grown indoors in tiny pots.
Cactus identification: search for a columnar cactus with white woolly fur and long, dangerous red spurs to identify the Old Man of the Mountain.
Many species of cactus belong to the Acanthocalycium genus, which is found in Argentina. The spines on the floral tubes are referred to by the taxon name, which comes from Greek akantha and kalyx. The spiny stems of these plants are globose to elongate and have numerous ribs.
The genus Acharagma contains two species from Coahuila and Nuevo Leon, Mexico. These plants have globose bodies that are no more than 3 inches in diameter and height. They may grow as individuals but put out multiple offsets from the bottom, and they might be somewhat cylindrical in shape.
They resemble Escobaria and Coryphantha in having tubercles and blooming from the apex, however they lack a groove from the areole to the axis. In Greek, the word Acharagma means “no groove.” [a (no) – charagma (groove)]. The sepals at least have a deeper vertical stripe, and the blooms are white to red to yellow. The stems are obscured by the spines, which are fewer than an inch in length and are quite thick. Smooth little green to purple colored fruits make up the fruit.
Species that develop in thin cylindrical stems branching from the bottom produce a Brazil-native ecosystem. One species’ stems may grow to be 3 inches thick, while the others’ stems are only 6 1/2 feet tall. The plant body is covered in close-set and prickly spines, with little ribs beneath.
As the stem continues to grow from the tip, leaving a collar of spines between the new and old segments, flowers emerge from the plant’s extremity each season, creating punctuated growth rings. The flowers are candy-like waxy tubes that last only one or two days and then turn black and fall off. They are vivid color -pink, red, white, or yellow. Little, nutritious berry fruits come in pink, purple, or red.
Ten species of the genus Austrocactus are native to southern South America, Argentina and Chile. Except for Austrocactus spiniflorus, they have solitary or branching bodies and tubercules on their ribs (sometimes called knees). This genus’ tallest species is 80 centimeter tall. With a distinctive spiny tube, flowers are pink, orange, red, or yellow.
This is the South American variation of Cylindropuntia, with the prefix Austro meaning “southern.” Yet, aside from geography, this shrubby group of cacti is divided into its own genus by a number of differences. This genus has round succulent leaves on new growth that fall off with age, as well as the opuntia trademark glochids within the areoles, indicating that it belongs to the opuntiads.
Austrocylindropuntia differs from Cylindropuntia in that the spines lack papery sheaths, whereas new stems and flower buds develop from areoles along existing stems. Between growth points, the stems also seem to lack distinct segments. On sturdy spiny floral tubes, flowers are yellow, orange, or red. Fruits are spherical and thick. A. ceriferus, for example, is a particularly popular cultivar of the eleven species. A. subulata and A. subulata In warmer climes, clyndracea are tough, fast-growing plants that make formidable landscape plants.
The genus Aztekium was formed after 60 years of separation between two species. Despite the fact that the two species were discovered at different times, they belong to the same genus. They both thrive on gypsum cliffs that are vertical or close to it. They exist in separate populations in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, each in a single valley. These extreme survivors need very protective measures to avoid becoming extinct in the wild due to illicit collecting, since they have such a restricted range.
Golden snake cactus (Bergerocactus emoryi) is a kind of cactus with golden spines. It’s called after Alwin Berger, and it’s the only member of the genus Bergerocactus. Snake cactus is another name for the plant, however Echinocereus pensilis is also known by that name.
Blossfeldia is a genus of cactus that is the tiniest of all cacti, with a single species that grows to be half an inch (12 mm) in diameter. The species name liliputana alludes to its tiny stature, which is derived from the island of Lilliput in Jonathan Swift’s novel Gulliver’s Travels. Plants in this group can be solitary or grouped into clusters with multiple stems. Ribs, tubercles, and spines are not present. White flowers are tiny and fragile, with the entire stem growing slightly larger than the blossoms.
Up to 33 (10m) feet tall, plants are treelike columnar cacti. Many shallow ribs, which may be tuberculate, are seen in most species. Many species have spines on their young growth and minimal spines on their older growth. The floral tubes of the flowers are covered in big scales. They’re white or red. Fruits are tiny, and there aren’t very many of them. These species are seldom cultivated and come from Bolivia, Chile, and Peru.
The solitary species in this monotypic genus, Carnegiea gigantea (Saguaro cactus), is without a doubt the most commonly known and recognized cactus of all. In cartoons, post cards, book covers, paintings, and sculptures, the big Saguaro has represented the desert Southwest and has represented the west in general. As a result, many individuals believe that the tall, branching cacti in the west are connected to these quintessential cacti in the United States. This is in stark contrast to the popular image many people have of the Wild West, which is only found in central/southern Arizona and a little way into California on the Arizona border.
Cereus is the name given to almost all known cactus species that are ribbed, columnar plants in earlier taxonomy. Several of these species have subsequently been separated into different genera. As a result, the Cereus group’s 30 or so remaining plants are mostly non-movement plants rather than ones that have been put in the group because they match the genus description. This grouping is very jumbled and unsatisfactory due to the inclusion-by-lack-of-exclusion.
Cintia knizei, a Bolivian alpine cactus, grows in the high Andes. In 1969, at an height of 4,000 m (13,000 ft) near Otavi in Potosí Province, Bolivia, Karel Kníže discovered the plant. Jan Říha, on the other hand, did not name it until 1996.
The blue-colored fruits of most Cipocereus species make it a small collection of Brazilian short columnar plants. The fact that this fruit has a watery pulp has been essential in identifying species to the genus. While some of the species were known under other genera for many years prior to 1979, this genus was established in 1979. F. created the genus, and it was named after him. Ritter and other taxonomists relocated a few species from different places, resulting in the discovery of one new species.
Cliestocactus is a genus of cactus that some people believe has quantity over quality. That is, while this genus has a lot of tiny characteristics, it also has a lot of them. The stems are generally littleer than an inch in diameter, but easily branch out at the base to create apparent clusters. The spines are likewise tiny and flexible, yet they are typically extremely abundant, even obscuring the stems in many circumstances.
The flowers follow suit with this characteristic. Several species have flowers that look like lipstick or fireworks tubes. Some buds may be forming on the stems, which may be densely packed with blooms. A plant might blossom every day of the year if the weather is right.
The genus Coleocephalocereus belongs to the Brazilian columnar cacti family Coleocephalocereus. The cephalium of these creatures grows wool and bristles. They may make up a dominating portion of the flora in these isolated, dome-shaped rocky outcrops, and they are widespread to the inselbergs of the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest.
The Caribbean (including Florida, USA) has a tribe of Opuntiads called Consolea. They’re all little tree-like plants with cladodes (flat pads) that grow into round trunks as they mature. They grow to be about 20 feet tall. New cladodes appear at the end of these trunks, and they look like dandelions that have been tossed haphazardly around. This distinguishes the genus from other stemmed plants, including straight, circular, and unsegmented stems.
Several cactus cultivators like Copiapoa. The species in Copiapoa show a wide degree of “variation on a theme,” despite not being known for any particular characteristic, such as the large flowers of Echinopsis. Copiapoa species are globose or globose-cylindrical plants with well-defined ribs and a wooly apex that produces practically all yellow flowers, as are other members of the genus. These funnel-shaped blooms, which are typically about 1 to 2 inches in diameter and vary considerably from one plant to the next, are quite similar.
The genus Coryphantha, sometimes known as the beehive cactus, is made up of tiny globe-shaped plants with grooved tubercles rather than ribs. Mammillaria and Escobaria, for example, are similar to Coryphantha. Coryphantha are actually common Coryphantha that were formerly classified as Mammillaria, whereas they differ mostly in that Coryphantha blooms from the first year of growth at the apex of the plant and Mammillaria blooms from second-year growth further down the stalk.
More species are being broken out of the genus Opuntia and placed into separate genera as more work is done on the Opuntiads. While several were classified into the even older genus of Tephrocactus largely by Backeberg in the 1950s, Cumulopuntia is one of the first families to be recognized as different from Opuntia. F. was then replaced by New York City mayor Ed Koch, who died in 2006. Ritter combined species from Tephrocactus and Opuntia to form the new genus Cumulopuntia. The fruits, which lack pulp, are the most important difference. Other Opuntiads have an unusual seed structure, and the plant grows like a compact cushion.
The species of the genus Cylindropuntia are seldom cultivated except by die-hard Opuntia lovers, and they are commonly known in the vernacular as “Cholla.” Chollas are well-known despite the fact that they aren’t cultivated. In the deserts of the Southwest United States and Northern Mexico, this is one of the most prolific and well-known cactus genera. Cylindropuntia is made up of intertwined cylindrical stalks that reach a maximum height of around 10 feet and form tiny trees.
Collectors all over the globe prize the genus Discocactus. It’s impossible to say exactly why they’re so appealing. Their compact size, distinctive and showy white blooms, and slow development are all probable reasons for their success. The stems of species in this genus are less than 10 inches (26 cm) in diameter and are flattened to globose in form. Ribbed or tuberculate stems have fuzzy areoles or thick spines, and they may be ribbed.
Echinocactus seems to contain six species, which is a relatively modest genus. Echinocactus has been a genus with hundreds of species over the years. This is the consequence of a few names being employed to cover broad groups of cactus with a general resemblance to each other in the early taxonomy of cacti. Echinocactus included barrel-shaped, ribbed plants that were not already classified as Cereus or Melocactus.
Cactus enthusiasts all over the globe adore the genus Echinocereus. Their popularity is based on a number of factors. All Echinocereus are tiny plants that may be grown in pots or greenhouses. This genus’s stems are frequently shorter than a foot and perhaps two or three inches in diameter. Some are bigger, while others are smaller. Certain species may build huge mounds of hundreds of stems in the wild, but this takes many years and they are still manageable in cultivation.
The genus Echinomastus is another denizen of the Southwest United States and neighboring Mexico. This is a small collection of short, elongated globular plants that contain 5-9 species (according to Powell and Weedin, 2004). The stems are generally no more than 12 inches tall and rarely branch. To the degree that the stems are covered in spines, they are typically extremely spined. Spines arise from distinct tubercles arranged in rows, with areoles on them. Tubercles have a groove, and there may be additionalfloral nectaries nearby.
Epiphyllum, a 19-species genus of epiphytic cactus plants from Central America, has 19 species. These species are known as climbing cacti, orchid cacti, and leaf cacti, however Pereskia is another name for the same genus.
Just two species of tiny plants belong to the Epithelantha genus. Because of the variation in spination, many species have been named, with the majority settling on just the two and classifying variations as subspecies. The taxonomist and hobbyist appear to be satisfied with this for the most part. Both have tiny plants with stems that are barely bigger than 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter and height. The spines, which protrude out of tubercles much like Mammillaria, are white and vary in length.
Escobaria species have tiny globose to cylindrical single or clustered stems with tubercles and belong to the genus Escobaria. Coryphantha and prior to Mammillaria, many of the species were formerly classified as Coryphantha. The plants’ general habit and particularly the presence of tubercles were mostly responsible for their inclusion in Mammillaria. The areoles of Escobaria do not contain separate areas for producing spines and areoles, unlike Mammillaria, which blooms from fresh growth at the summit.
The genus Espostoa contains a dozen or so species from Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. The stems form a chain and are columnar plants with a base that branches out to resemble a large city skyline. Espostoa’s thick, white “hair” covers the branches completely, giving them a delicate, fuzzy appearance. This is the most noticeable aspect of the tree. The soft hairs areFakely covered with a lot of sharp spines that ring the columns, and this is simply an illusion. The soft hairs are instead covered in many tiny ribs. Some species have a main central spine that extends far beyond the hair, giving them an appearance of danger.
As the name implies, Espostoopsis is closely related to the genus Espostoa. Other than the fact that it is distributed globally from the lone species, Espostoopsis and the solitary species have few apparent distinctions. Despite its significant similarities, taxonomists have never classified this species as Espostoa, according to further research. In both Austrocephalocereus and Coleocephalocereus, it was initially recognized as an independent species, but in 1968, it was given a name.
How to Grow Cacti Plants Indoors
How difficult is it to look after cactus varieties indoors? Different types of indoor cactus houseplants are surprisingly easy to care for. Most cacti suitable for indoor growth are available at garden centers and retailers. You should put your cactus plant in a sunny window sill in the southern hemisphere to ensure it thrives.
Water indoor cactus plants carefully is one of the most important things to remember when growing them. During the growing season, when it is extremely bright, cacti typically only need to be watered on a regular basis. Water them thoroughly, but allow all of the excess to escape through the drainage holes. Indoor cacti only require light watering every few weeks throughout the autumn and winter.
Cacti prefer a temperature of 70°F to 75°F (21°C to 23°C) during the day and 60°F (15.5°C) at night throughout the growing season. Use cactus-specific soil and fertilizer.
How to Care for Outdoor Cactus Types
Cacti are excellent for a wide range of gardens, particularly those that get considerable sunlight and heat during the summer. Cactus plants that can survive freezing temperatures in the winter may be found depending on where you live.
Select a site where water drains readily when deciding where to place your cactus outdoors. The cactus won’t get waterlogged, for example, if you place it on the summit of a rock garden or on a south-facing slope.