Last updated on August 25th, 2023 at 12:21 pm
Cacti and succulents identification is not easy to determine because of the wide range of species, differences in flowering patterns and shapes. The following guide will help you recognize some common types that may be growing in your garden or neighborhood park.
Cacti and succulents identification
Cacti have waxy bodies with spines. They are native to the Americas. Most people know what a cactus looks like: it has spines on its waxy body and is from the Americas.
What Are Succulents?
Are succulents and cacti the same?
No, succulents and cacti are not the same. Cacti are native to hot deserts in North America, Central America, and South America. Succulent plants grow in a wide variety of climates such as rainforests or dry plains.
Succulents are well-known for their desert and drought-tolerant qualities. They store water in tiny leaves, stems, or roots with fleshy spongy tissue to help them survive periods of dryness. This enables succulent plants to grow in areas where other types of vegetation would not be able to thrive – either too wet or too dry.
Cacti, on the other hand, are mainly found in deserts and they store water in their stems rather than leaves. Their leaves tend to be small and spiky-like needles for defending against predators. You might spot cactus plants with flowers during springtime that only last a day or two before disappearing back into the plant.
Cacti and succulents identification (Cactus vs. succulents)
Cacti are a type of succulent. There is no one single definition for what constitutes either cactus or succulents, but the most common features that people use to identify them are their spines and leaves respectively. The following bullet points summarize some differences in how they grow:
- Succulents have more water in their leaves and stems, so they will droop if you hold them upside-down.
- Cactus spines are usually erect when the plant is dry but can be either spread out or retracted into a ball when wet.
In general, cacti tend to have more water in their tissues than succulents do because they are able to store water in their tissues for long periods of time. This is an adaptation that they have developed so as not to get too dry and brittle when the climate is harsh or it does not rain often.
If you’re wondering how popular these plants are, a researcher at The University Of Arizona says that there are more than two thousand different species of cacti in the world.