Cactus Facts

  • Cactus are American plants that are covered in sharp spines, have thick, bulbous green stems and no leaves.
  • Most Cactus grow in hot, dry regions but a few grow in rainforests and in cold places such as mountain tops.
  • Cactus in deserts have a thick, waxy skin so as to cut water loss to the bare minimum.
  • The fat stems of Cactus hold a lot of water so that they can survive in hot, dry deserts.
  • The huge saguaro cactus grows only in the dry foothills and deserts of southern Arizona, southeast California and northwest Mexico.
  • The stems of the jumping cholla fall off so easily they seem to jump on passers-by.
  • Because of their moist stems, Cactus are called succulents.
  • Cactus have spines to protect themselves from animals which will eat any kind of moist vegetation.
  • Cactus have to pollinate just like every flowering plant. So every few years, many produce big colourful blooms to attract insects quickly.
  • Most Cactus have very long roots to collect water from a large area. The roots grow near the surface to collect as much rainwater as possible.
  • The biggest cactus is the saguaro, which can grow up to 20 m tall and 1 m thick.