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Cactus Knowledge

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Cactus Facts – 25 Facts any Cactus Lover Needs to Know!

Cactus Facts – 25 Facts any Cactus Lover Needs to Know!

Over all the posts we have made here at Cactus Facts, I thought I would put together a top 25 list of some of my favorite cactus information.  Some of these are obvious while other facts might make you declare we have lost our minds or made some type of error.  So read away and I am sure you will be amazed at some of these incredible facts!

Cactus Facts – Our Top 25

  1. Fishhook Barrel Cactus have up to 25 vertical ribs.  You know that's sexy!
  2. The Cactus was discovered by a botanist name Carolus Linnaeus, he called the new plant “kaktos”.
  3. Saguaros may take up to 75 years to develop its side arms and 55 years to start flowering.
  4. Cactus can produce flowers and fruit, the fruit is edible and has great health benefits.
  5. Fossil evidence from 9,000 years ago have show us that cacti have been in human diets for at least that long.
  6. Cactus go into dormancy when temperatures lower in winter months.
  7. There are four requirements that must be met to be able to classify a cactus; it has to be a perennial, the fruit it produces must be single celled, it has to have an areole, and last but not least it must be a dicotyledon.
  8. The Fishhook Barrel Cactus is referred to as the “Compass Barrel” since the bigger plants will lean in the southwest direction.
  9. A large Barrel Cactus once survived for six years uprooted from the ground, it used 24 pounds of its stored water over that time.
  10. Once a Saguaro Cactus dies, its ribs can be use to build fences, roofs, and furniture parts.
  11. Under the perfect growing conditions, it has been estimated that Saguaros can live as much as 150 to 200 years.  A Barrel cactus can live up to 130 years from records found.
  12. A full sized Saguaro(40-60 feet) that has been hydrated can weigh up to 4800 pounds.  Don't let one of these fall on you!
  13. The official state flower of our great state(Arizona) is the Saguaro Cactus Blossom.
  14. Cactus spines have been used for sutures,  of course they have been sterilized first.
  15. Cacti are pollinated by hummingbirds, bats, and some insects.
  16. Peyotl, roots of a Mexican cactus, were chewed on by Aztecs for their hallucinogenic properties.  It allowed shamen to enter a type of trance.  Lets see how accurate they were about 2012!
  17. Barrel Cactus do contain water, but it contains oxalic acid and will cause diarrhea if consumed when your stomach is empty.  So be safe about what you eat and drink out in the desert.
  18. All species of cacti have large roots.
  19. Nopal Cactus has been use to treat type 2 diabetes, lowering blood sugar.
  20. The cactus leaf may protect the immune system preventing oxidative stress.
  21. Prickly Pears contain betalains which reduce inflammation in your body when consumed.
  22. Even though the Saguaro is such a massive cactus fully grown, it is a slow starter.  After 10 years it may have grown only 2 inches tall.
  23. The thickness of a cactus is dependant on how much light it receives.
  24. There are over two thousand species of cacti and over 170 represented in the Columnar family.
  25.  The Saguaro Cactus is the largest of all the other cacti in the United States.

So there you have it!  If for some reason we have missed a fact that you think deserves recognition, please contact us or comment.  We love feedback from you guys.  I am sure we will find more cactus facts as time goes on, so stay posted.

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One Response

Spencer,
I own a cottage business–jams & jellies. I ran into prickly pear fruits in the supermarket last week (02/26/14) and was excited. They had about 6-8 lbs of them. I found a recipe that called for 5 lbs…so went back to the supermarket the next day and bought 5 lbs. Made the jam, which I know is going to be a big hit! And wow the brilliant neon red color! So I went back to the store to get more. They said a vendor brings them and don’t know if/when they will have more. So we have been on the hunt trying to find them–to no luck so far. The question I have is concerning “growing season.” When do the cactus produce the flowers and then I presume the fruits from the flowers? I read that when the weather cools that they become dormant. Thanks for any info you have!
Steve

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