Cacti make great decorative pieces in any household. A cactus is perhaps most popular because of its spiky long spines and long stems. However, what is the true nature of a cactus? Is it a flower?
The short answer is no. A cactus is in fact a plant and not a flower. In simple terms, a plant is comprised of stems, roots, and flowers whereas a flower is concerned with reproduction only.
No, a cactus is not a flower. It is a plant since it contains a stem, roots and flower buds. A flower is the reproductive part of a plant.
The most important question to ask ourselves here is what the true nature of a flower is. A flower is the reproductive part of a plant. It is concerned with providing pollen to kickstart a process called pollination.
Plants can reproduce after pollen reaches the female part of another plant such as an ovule. A seed is produced after this process is successful.
Flowers have distinct colors and a variety of patterns as well. They come in different shapes and sizes.
Now that we’ve looked at the features of a flower, does a cactus tick off all the boxes? The simple answer is no. A cactus is not the reproductive part of a plant. A cactus is a complete plant on its own with its own flowers.
A cactus can be identified by its unique slender stems and bright flowers that bloom during the summer and spring. A cactus is not a flower since it is not only concerned with reproduction.
A cactus has a lot of other things to take care of other than reproduction. It needs to make its own food by a process called photosynthesis. During this process, sunlight is used to make plant food.
A cactus is mainly concerned with surviving the harsh climate of the desert. It is well-adapted to survive the heat and can retain water in its thick stems.
Now that we’ve cleared up the air about whether or not a cactus is a flower, let us look at another possibility. The main question which we must deal with is, what even is a plant?
By its definition, a plant is a living thing that is made up of parts such as a stem, roots, and flowers. Let us look at it this way. What do you think of when you see a cactus? Spiky, green, and long. Awkwardly long perhaps.
All plants are green and have stems that are well-adapted to perform functions to ensure the survival of the plant. A number of different processes are taking place inside a plant at all times.
Now that we have answered all the important questions, let us look at the different parts that make up a cactus.
The most obvious part of a cactus is its thick green stem. This is the most hard part of a cactus. Sometimes, the stem can even be fleshy in some cacti species.
This part of the cactus stores water. The shape and texture of the stem varies in different species. Some cacti have long spines on the stem such as the Ferocactus. Other types of cacti such as the Baseball plant do not have any spines at all.
The spines grow from areas called areoles on the cactus stem. Did you know that the spines of a cactus are modified leaves? Who could’ve thought?!
Spines are specialized features of a cactus that protect it from potential predators in the wild. Who would want to eat a plant that has razor-sharp spines on it? Not me!
You might be interested to know that cacti often have shallow roots. They are often found close to the surface of the soil. These roots can reach water to a great extent. They even retain water.
The roots of a cactus often have a layer that prevents water loss. They are also sensitive to too much water intake and can die because of root rot.
Cacti are flowering plants that produce a variety of flowers. Most cacti often have brightly colored flowers. They bloom flowers once a year. This could either be during the summer or spring.
Some cacti species do not bloom until all of their needs such as light, water and the type of soil are met. They take years to bloom. Sunlight is often a key factor in the blooming process of a cactus.
We have discussed whether or not a cactus is a flower. The short answer is no. A cactus is a plant and not a flower. It has features such as a stem, roots, and flowers.
If you liked reading about cacti, you might be interested to look into how often a cactus produces flowers.
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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