Types of Cacti – There are at least 2,000 different types of cacti that are native to the Americas. All of them love dry, desert-like temperatures, and they can survive for quite some time without water.
1. Saguaro Cactus
The most common type of cactus is the saguaro. This variety is one of the many types of cacti people think of when they picture a cactus.
It takes about 75 years for a saguaro cactus to grow just one arm. The flowers of the saguaro cactus bloom at night, and bats instead of birds actually pollinate them.
2. Barrel Cactus
Another one of the most common types of cacti is the barrel cactus. This type of cactus is usually rather short with a cylindrical stem. Barrel cacti are always less than 10 times taller than they are wide.
Usually the diameter of this type of cactus is less than five inches, and the cactus itself doesn’t usually grow more than a foot tall. Some barrel cacti also grow flowers from the side of the stem.
3. The Prickly Pear Cactus
One of the most beautiful and unusual types of cacti is the prickly pear cactus. The stems of this type of cactus are made up of small circles that look like little round, green pads. Usually there are several of the green pads on each stem.
4. The Cholla Cactus
The cholla cactus looks a lot more like a tree than a cactus in some ways. The stems grow in jointed segments, very similar to the saguaro cactus. However, they grow in bunches at the top of one main stem that looks very much like a tree trunk.
5. The Pincushion Cactus
One of the most common types of cacti that people grow indoors as a potted plant is the pincushion cactus. This type of cactus is tiny, usually only reaching six inches in height or less.
The pincushion cactus also grows tiny flowers and is sometimes called the fishhook cactus. It is one of the most beautiful of all the different types of cacti. The name of this cactus comes from the shape of its spines, which look like hundreds of tiny fishhooks.
6. The Organ Pipe Cactus
The organ pipe cactus also gets its name from its appearance. This type of cactus grows very tall stems that strongly resemble organ pipes.
The organ pipe cactus is very closely related to the saguaro cactus. Both the organ pipe cactus and the saguaro cactus are native to Mexico and the U.S. state of Arizona.
7. The Totem Pole Cactus
The totem pole cactus is one of the tallest types of cacti. It’s known for its height and bumpy skin. Totem pole cacti tend to grow in bunches, and they grow up in one big column. This type of cactus is native to the Baja peninsula.
8. The Ocotillo Cactus
The ocotillo cactus doesn’t look much like a cactus at all. It looks more like a plant with small cane-like branches.
In fact, this type of cactus can even be considered to be more of a shrub because it grows in clusters and can reach heights of 25 feet or more. The ocotillo cactus produces beautiful red flowers at the tops of its stems.