Cacti are luscious plants that live in dry areas. They can survive long period shortage of water.
Cacti have many adaptations that let them live in dry areas; these adaptations let the plant collect water efficiently, store it for long periods of time, and minimizing water loss from evaporation.Cacti have a wide, hard-walled, succulent stem when it rains; water is stored in the stem. The stems are photosynthetic, green, and fleshy. The inside of the stem is either soft or empty depending on the cactus. A thick, waxy coating keeps the water inside the cactus from evaporating.
Most cacti have very long, fibrous roots, which subsume moisture from the soil. Some, like ball cacti, have shorter, denser roots that absorb dew water that falls off the cactus.Instead of leaves, most cacti have spines or scales which are altered leaves. These spines and scales do not lose water through evaporation unlike regular leaves, which lose a lot of water. The spines secure the cactus from animals that would like to eat the cactus to obtain food and/or water. Areoles are circular clusters of spines on a cactus. Flowers bud at an areole and new stems branch from an areole.
Cacti are flowering plants. The flowers produce seed-bearing fruit. Many cactus species are pollinated by bats. The delicate flowers usually bloom for a short period of time in the spring.Many cacti can also grow from broken-off parts of the plant, but the new plant will be genetically identical to the original plant.
Cacti are local to Americas North and South America. They are generally found in dry areas, but can be found in many habitats mild temperature, sub-tropical, and tropical, ranging from deserts to tropical rainforests to high in the Andes Mountains.