This genus contains just one very famous tree-like species, the giant Saguaro cactus. It is unique to the arid American Southwest and northwestern Mexico where it can be found widely scattered or in dense populations. Its massive size and familiar shape contributes largely to the character of the deserts where it is found, particularly those in Arizona.
Giant Saguaro columns feature up to thirty vertical ribs that act like an accordion, swelling in the summer rainy season then shrinking as...
This enormous, branching, tree-like cactus is a favorite landscape plant in the deserts of the Southwest. Giant saguaro is native to the Sonoran Desert, from Arizona southward into Sonora, Mexico. In the wild, it is protected due to shrinking habitat and illegal wild-collection of native plants for garden cultivation. Sadly, most wild-collected plants quickly die because established, mature plants transplant poorly.
Giant saguaro columns feature up to thirty vertical ribs that act like an...
(Highway Iceplant, Hottentot Fig)
In addition to its light yellow and pale pink flowers, the highway iceplant also yields edible, fig-like fruits late in the season. This summer blooming perennial groundcover is native to the slopes of coastal and inland South Africa. It develops a relatively shallow root system and spreads via fleshy stems across the soil to create dense mats of foliage.
The short, succulent leaves are stiff, narrow and held upright. In cross section they have a distinctly triangular shape. Younger leaves...
Gerald L. Klingaman
(Old Man Cactus)
Old man cactus is a slender, columnar succulent native to the rocky regions of central Mexico. It is densely covered with long, bristly, grayish white hairs that resemble those on the head of an elderly gentleman. It slowly grows to very tall heights in the wild but remains much shorter in cultivation. Underneath the hairs are sharp, yellow spines. In mid-spring to summer it produces large, pink, night-blooming flowers with a pleasing fragrance. These are pollinated by moths and bats and followed...
(Ice Plant, Red Spike Ice Plant)
This little-known genus of succulent perennials contains 60 species of what is commonly called iceplant. It is a coastal species found along the southern tip of Africa both east and west of the Cape of Good Hope. The plants are ground hugging dense mats of thick leaves that dwell in the sandy dune lands and rocky outcrops found in the maritime climate areas.
Cephalophyllum species are creeping plants that produce thick blue green leaves with a curiously half rounded tips. Leaves...
Mark A. Miller
A low, petite, flowering succulent groundcover, this iceplant spreads by creeping stems, but it is not an invasive weed. Tolerant of limited light frosts, this evergreen perennial is native to South Africa.
The tiny leaves are finger-like and a bright green, although blush slightly purple or red when growing in intense sunlight. In mid- to late winter, deep rosy-pink, daisy-like flowers appear just above the carpet of succulent leaves. Individually, a blossom may have subtle hints of pink-orange...
(Cereus, Night-blooming Cactus)
This is among the oldest botanical names used for cactus, which first appeared in 1754. It was used to group all newly discovered upright branching types with distinctive ribs. Beginning as a catch-all genus, it was later split into other genera or its species moved there as more information was obtained about these unique New World succulents. As a result, older references to these cacti are almost always incorrect. Today there are about 25 species in the genus
Cereus produce very...