Cacti are perennial thorny plants that have stood out in a separate family more than 30 million years ago. They initially grew up in South America, but later with the help of man they spread on all continents. Some types of cacti are growing in the wild in Eurasia.
What is a similar one?
All representatives of cactus have a kind of structure that contributes to the accumulation of water. Their historical places of growth are territories with a small amount of precipitation and a hot climate. The whole body of the cactus is covered with hard, stuck, which is a reliable protection against eating. However, far from all the cacti are thorny. The family also includes plants with ordinary leaves, and even small deciduous trees.
Since ancient times, a cactus is widely used by man. A few centuries ago, people who inhabited the places of growth of this plant used it in religious rites, in medicine, construction. Cacti are used even as food today! Plants from the group of the OWNCII are traditionally eaten in Mexico, and both the stem and the fruits are used.
Thanks to an extravagant appearance, the cactus began to be used as a decorative plant. From large species create reliable hedges. Small species are widespread in pots and flower beds. Given that the cactus does not require much water, it has become very convenient for maintaining in institutions and organizations where flower watering often occurs very rarely.
There are a huge number of types of cacti in the world. Modern classification divides them into four large groups.
These are precisely those plants that are officially considered cacti, but are not at all like them. The group includes only one type of shrub with ordinary leaves and without thorns. Experts believe that a transpicemine bush is an “intermediate link” in the evolutionary chain of transforming a deciduous plant into a classic cactus.
Plants from this group are distinguished by the most acute thorns of complex shape. Each spike, called glochy, is equipped with zazubins and has a very stringent structure. Opucias rarely become food for animals or birds, since acute glochids cause severe irritation of the gastrointestinal tract.
Another feature of the cacti of this group is the segment structure of the stems. They consist of individual parts fastened with each other. This is especially clearly visible on young shoots.
The group is represented by just one species that is common in South America. The historical place of growth is the area of Patagonia. The cacti of the Mauchienic group do not have sharp thorns, and the length of their leaves does not exceed one centimeter. Small shoots, only appearing from under the ground, strongly resemble ordinary deciduous plants. Therefore, by their appearance it is difficult to determine the future cactus.
All other cactus plants are ranked in this group. The number of species is large, but they all have similar signs. For example, cactus does not have any leaves. It is difficult to confuse their shoots with deciduous plants, since they immediately have a spherical shape.
Representatives of this group do not have the most acute thorns-glossia. Instead, on the stem, there are ordinary stuck thorns. A great variety of forms of adult plants. This includes cacti with the vertical arrangement of the “trunk”, with a flat stem, creeping, forming columns. Some types of cactus are intertwined, creating almost impenetrable thickets.