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Five Fascinating Cacti Facts - Varnish + Vine

Five Fascinating Cacti Facts

Approximately 400,000 plant species exist on Earth, with the cactus standing out as particularly intriguing. Contrary to common perception, the cactus extends beyond its iconic thorns, known as Glochids. The diversity of cacti goes beyond their unique physical features, encompassing a wide range of shapes, sizes, and habitats.

Let's take a closer look at five of the most fun and fascinating facts about these unique plants that you probably weren't aware of.

1.    Many cacti species can live for up to 300 years in the wild

How long do your plants typically live in your home? Perhaps a few months, or with exceptional care, they might last a few years. Cacti, on the other hand, can thrive for centuries. Two main reasons plants die are heat or lack of water, but cacti thrive without these issues, living up to 300 years in the wild with no maintenance. Consider the environmental factors in your home that may affect the lifespan of your plants, such as sunlight exposure and humidity levels.

2.    Cacti can live for more than two years without a single drop of water

Cacti excel at water storage compared to most plants, enabling them to thrive in arid conditions without regular watering. This adaptation explains the abundance of cacti species in deserts, where other flora struggle to endure prolonged drought. This unique ability of cacti to store water efficiently makes them a popular choice for indoor plants, as they require minimal maintenance.

3.    Some cacti actually have flowers that open at night

When most people think of a cactus, they don't picture any beautiful flowers, but did you know that some cacti, such as the Monstrose Cactus, actually have attractive, colorful flowers? It’s true! The reason many people don’t know this fun fact is because the Monstrose Cactus only blooms at night, so if you want to catch a glimpse of its' flower, you'll need to bring a flashlight or some night vision goggles.

4.    Certain species of cacti produce edible fruit

Have you ever tried a cactus fruit? Probably not, right? You may not have even known that cacti produce fruit, but they do. Certain species of cacti, such as the Peruvian Apple Cactus, produce an edible fruit. The tart fruit of the Peruvian Apple Cactus has a floral smell and sweet taste, similar to sugarcane.

5.    Cacti can store an incredible amount of water

Cacti can store water efficiently, especially species like the Saguaro Cactus. A mature Saguaro can hold up to 200 gallons or 757 liters of water during rainfall, equivalent to almost six bathtubs. Cacti like the Saguaro are able to efficiently store water, making them well-adapted to arid environments. The impressive ability of a mature Saguaro to hold up to 200 gallons or 757 liters of water during rainfall is equivalent to almost six bathtubs.


Cacti are aesthetically pleasing and intriguing plants in nature. They serve as excellent decorations and possess unique characteristics, such as longevity, surviving without water for extended periods, nocturnal flowering, fruit production, and impressive water storage. These are just a few of the noteworthy facts regarding cacti, with numerous other compelling reasons to appreciate these spiny, fleshy plants.


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