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Favorite Images of Cactus Flowers

Beauty list created by kathy Avatar


A list of my favorite images of catus flowers.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cactus

A cactus (plural: cacti, cactuses or cactus) is a member of the plant family Cactaceae within the order Caryophyllales. Almost all cacti are succulents. The word "cactus" derives, through Latin, from the Ancient Greek κάκτος (kaktos), a name originally used for a spiny plant whose identity is not certain.

Cacti are native to the Americas, ranging from Patagonia in the south to parts of western Canada in the north—except for Rhipsalis baccifera, which also grows in Africa and Sri Lanka.

Most cacti live in habitats subject to at least some drought. Many live in extremely dry environments, even being found in the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth. Cacti show many adaptations to conserve water.

Most species of cacti have lost true leaves, retaining only spines, which are highly modified leaves. As well as defending against herbivores, spines help prevent water loss by reducing air flow close to the cactus and providing some shade. Cactus spines are produced from specialized structures called areoles, a kind of highly reduced branch. Areoles are an identifying feature of cacti. As well as spines, areoles give rise to flowers, which are usually tubular and multipetaled.

Cactus flowers are variable. Typically, the ovary is surrounded by material derived from stem or receptacle tissue, forming a structure called a pericarpel. Tissue derived from the petals and sepals continues the pericarpel, forming a composite tube—the whole may be called a floral tube, although strictly speaking only the part furthest from the base is floral in origin.

The outside of the tubular structure often has areoles that produce wool and spines. Typically, the tube also has small scale-like bracts, which gradually change into sepal-like and then petal-like structures, so the sepals and petals cannot be clearly differentiated (and hence are often called "tepals").

Some cacti produce floral tubes without wool or spines (e.g. Gymnocalycium) or completely devoid of any external structures (e.g. Mammillaria). Unlike the flowers of other cacti, Pereskia flowers may be borne in clusters.

Cactus flowers usually have many stamens, but only a single style, which may branch at the end into more than one stigma. The stamens usually arise from all over the inner surface of the upper part of the floral tube, although in some cacti, the stamens are produced in one or more distinct "series" in more specific areas of the inside of the floral tube.

The flower as a whole is usually radially symmetrical (actinomorphic), but may be bilaterally symmetrical (zygomorphic) in some species. Flower colors range from white through yellow and red to magenta.

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21 votes
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