5 Cool Facts & 5 Cool Pics of Cacti

The things you find on flickr are sometimes just achingly beautiful….now I am really really really (as opposed to just really really) wanting to make over sun porch to accommodate more plants (and especially cacti).

Cacti are so interesting…I thought I would share some little known facts about them….to go along with the cool pictures.

1) Cacti come in all shapes and sizes.  Some of the more interesting ones take the shapes of chandeliers, curled snakes,  starfish, and wrinkled human faces.

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2) Peyoti – Heard of it?  Peyotl (Lophophora williamsii), was chewed by Aztecs for its hallucinogenic properties and allowed the shamen to enter in trance. It is still considered sacred by some Indian tribes such as the Huiholes and the Tarahumara. Believing that while experiencing mescaline-induced hallucinations they receive messages from their gods, they pilgrimage to the region where it grows to conduct ceremonies that end with the picking of the cactus, which has previously been pierced by an arrow.

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3) If in need – like if you find yourself a contestant on Survivor or something….it is true that cacti juice can be drank to keep hydrated….but also their thorns can be sterilized with fire and used as sutures.

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4) Cacti are generally really easy to propagate…just snap off a part or an existing plant and let it dry or callus for a few days or weeks then plant, the dry end will readily root into a new plant.

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5) Except for the genus Rhipsalis which is indigenous to tropical Americas and Africa, the cactus family is exclusively New World  (that is North and South America) in origin.  Cacti can be found in other parts of the world as well but is the result of migration of the species… now they are especially common in the Mediterranean, South Africa, and in Australia.

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Crazy Cool Cacti (say that 5 times) pics were taken by elly yap – see more on flickr.

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4 Responses to 5 Cool Facts & 5 Cool Pics of Cacti

  1. I always enjoy learning new things about plants and how they’re used. And since I live in the Northeast, cacti are like foreign life forms to me. So cool! I especially like the one with the red spikes coming out of it!

  2. @ lisa – your red spikes are flowers. That’s a mammalaria (sp?) cactus and one of the showier ones. It’s very cool.

  3. jenn… I too have the one with the red flowers….you say showey….i cant imagin what the other blooms look like…funny….i see the first year they were blooming n this spike red bud i was like yes….this is gona be huge…to later find it was the whole bloom…lol… cactus are a strange plant…..n yes true on the water they can produce…..

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