When you think of cacti growing outdoors, what is the first image that comes to your mind? Perhaps that of a desert would be the best fit.
And while it’s true that most cacti species prefer hot and arid climates, you’ll be surprised to know that many cacti are adaptable. In fact, they adjust themselves to their environment and can be found all over the world!
According to NASA, there are seven biomes in the world. The Cactus biome is most specifically of the desert. Different cacti species may also be found growing in tropical rainforest biomes.
Biomes are geographical regions, characterized according to the land and weather conditions.
All cacti have a similar requirement, which is proper drainage. However, due to the climatic conditions of different biomes, the different cacti have adapted to their environment to make their food and nutrients differently.
According to NASA, there are seven biomes in the world:
So where in the world do cacti live?
It’s vital to remember though that cacti have around 1700 species and they are all spread in different regions across the globe! From the deserted regions of Arizona to Africa and the Mediterranean, the cacti are spread in various locations around the world.
Apart from deserts, cacti can pretty much grow in grasslands as well!
Cacti belonging to grassland biomes include the Opuntia (prickly pear) species.
You can easily find the prickly pear cactus in the grassland biome. This is because these cacti usually don’t grow as tall as desert cacti. Hence, the grassland environment and features suit them perfectly.
Do you think cacti can only grow in deserts? Not necessarily!
Cacti belonging to rainforest biomes grow in forests having an elevation between 1000 to 2000 meters. These cacti species can grow on rocks and even on trees.
You’ll be surprised to know that there are ‘jungle cacti’ too - the ones growing in rainforests! And what’s even more surprising is that there are no spines on rainforest cacti!
Since there is not much sunlight in rainforests, these cacti don’t need many spines to shield themselves. The weather is neither scorching nor is it too dry.
Did you know?
The ‘Holiday Cacti’ Family
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter cacti are together known as the ‘Holiday Cacti’. Although the three cacti are characterized into one family, the only way to distinguish them is by the shape of their leaves.
Rainforest cacti either grow on rocks or even trees.
Do rainforest cacti have different needs?
Yes! Due to their rainforest habitat, they have fewer spines. Moreover, they are more flexible with water and soil needs, as they have grown according to the moist environment.
The first cacti habitat that strikes our minds is the desert!
Cacti growing in desert regions are accustomed to the hot and dry climate. These cacti species have more spines and different behavioral traits compared to rainforest cacti.
**Did you know?**
**The desert has cacti-resembling plants**
Apart from cacti, a desert has many types of plants. Some of them may even resemble cacti, such as the Agave.
If the mountains are at a low altitude, there are chances you may find many cacti there too!
Low altitude mountainous regions have the Copiapoa species.
Cacti growing in different biomes can be distinguished by their features. For instance, desert-growing cacti have more spines to shield themselves from the scorching sun and make sufficient use of the water. On the other hand, tropical rainforest cacti have flexibility in growth. Some cacti species, especially Copiapoa can grow in low-altitude mountainous regions.
Do you wish to learn more amazing cacti facts? Check out these 9 animals that love to eat cacti!
Did you know that some animals eat cacti, including their spines? Yes it's true, and you won't believe the way they do it!
My name is Kelly and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!
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