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Cacti For Sale

The Cactaceae is a very large family with well over 2500 different species of cactus plants. These are new world succulents mostly coming from the Americas. They range from the tiny Mammillaria fragilis to the giant Saguaro that is native to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, which most  growers are familiar with. Some of their spines are barbed, such as in the jumping Cholla. Other echeveria like the prickly pear or yucca can be eaten as long as they are prepared correctly with the spines, sap or both being removed. Anyone who has been jabbed by these knows what an uncomfortable experience it is to remove them! 

Did Cacti develop these spines to protect themselves?

 Experts suggest that the spines of cacti within, for example the cereus genus, are cooling towers helping to lower temperatures and keep them more drought tolerant. Perhaps the protection is incidental. Plants engineer their cooling and shade as they grow. As a grower I have learned that shifting a plants position can have dramatic and sometimes disastrous results when done without giving thought to shade and heat, especially with a seedling. However as a house plant they do tend to be low maintenance and easy care. They are superfluous in the American south west as home decor. 

The taxonomy of cacti seems to change frequently with new discoveries and relationships being discovered. Our knowledge of cacti and succulent plants must be updated frequently. This can be challenging or entertaining depending on how you look at it.