Cactus plants come in many shapes and sizes, have sharp spines, and showy flowers. They are found around the world but are native to the Americas. Some cacti may look like a pincushion; others a cow’s tongue or a beaver’s tail and some like a shrub or small tree. With nearly 2000 species of cacti in the world, a variety of shapes and appearances can be found.
All cacti are succulents, most are stem succulents; represented by thick fleshy stems with little or no woody tissue. The sharp spines are believed to have evolved from the now missing leaves of the cactus. Summer time is when cacti are actively growing and able to absorb water from the warm soil. During the winter months they remain dormant because of their inability to take in water from the cold ground.