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Types of Cactus

Are you searching for “types of cactus” for sale near me? At Desert Foothills Gardens & Nursery, we have an enormous inventory of cactus. There are many types of cactus that can be grown in the hot Arizona desert. Some of these cacti we like to have to beautify our landscapes, both front and back yards. Whether you want a small golden barrel cactus or the larger cardon cactus, a little explanation of some of the types will help you decide which type of cactus is right for your yard.

Different Types Of Cactus In The Desert

Although there are many types of Cacti out there, we are going to cover some that are sold by Desert Foothills Gardens Nursery.

Easter Cactus

An Easter cactus is a succulent, spine free cactus with 2 to 3 inch long jointed segments. The segments are typically flattened, but older stems sometimes can become triangular. In between the segments and towards the tips are soft, small brownish bristles. At the edges of the segments are usually ringed with a purplish type of fringe. Easter cactus is easily grown as long as it receives bright light, but not necessarily blown out full sun, during the summer growing season. During the spring these cactus have vividly colored blooms.

Purple Prickly Pear Cactus

Indigenous to our Sonoran desert, the purple prickly cactus grows in bundles, usually about 4 ft tall by 5 ft wide. This cactus looks almost like a shrub. The large leaf pads grow a purple tint in the cooler, dry winter months. These leaf pads are covered with large, tan needles. Their flowers appear late in the spring, and are yellowish with red centers. Throughout the summer months, the pads are a soft bluish grey color. They grow bright yellow flowers, up to 3 inches in diameter that sometimes produce a purple to red fruit.

Saguaro Cactus

The saguaro cactus is comprised of tall, thick, fluted, column like stems,  around 18 to 24 inches in diameter, usually with several large arms curving upwards in the most distinctive arrangement of all the Southwestern desert cactus. The skin is usually a little waxy and smooth, and the stems and trunk typically have stout, two inch spines grouped around their ribs. When water is soaked up, the outer pulp of the cactus expands somewhat like an accordion, widening the diameter of the stem and, sometimes, can supersize its weight upwards of a ton.

Golden Barrel Cactus

Golden barrel cacti are usually found in either a somewhat cylindrical or barrel type shape. They are enveloped in large, thick spiky type thorns that are sometimes 2 to 3 inches long. These spikes not only helps the cactus collect moisture from the outside air but also protects the cactus. The golden barrel cactus needs to be fully in the sun for a greater part of the day in order to thrive. Vibrant flowers grow from the top of the cactus. These flowers don’t have any spikes or thorns on them. It is very possible for cactus to have fruit, but they are toxic to humans. The pulp of the golden barrel cactus can be used in making certain types of candy. In emergency survival situations, the cactus can be eaten to provide water and food for energy.

San Pedro Cactus/ Trichocereus

The San Pedro Cactus is a columnar type cactus that grows at a very fast rate. People have used San Pedro cactus for over 3,000 years for a wide assortment of uses: medicines, vet uses, spiritual healing, religious reasons, and of course ornamental purposes. The San Pedro is a cactus that typically has pillars that consists of 4 to 9 ribbons. It is a fast growing cactus and has a complex root system that shoots off from the base of the main stem. It will keep growing until it crumbles because of its own weight. Naturally, it will root again and start a whole new cactus. This type cactus yields white flowers at the end of their stems which bloom during the night.

Organ Pipe Cactus

The organ pipe cactus has long and black closely spaced spines that turn gray as they age. It blooms only at night, yields three-inch, funnel type flower that are somewhat pinkish-red with a white edge. These flowers open after the sun goes down and close during the daytime. After they flower, the cactus develops big, round, edible fruit that will at some point will lose its spines as it ripens. Its seeds are darkish brown and covered in a syrupy, bright red pulp. This cactus can live to be well over 150 years old, and will usually produce their first flower closer to the age of 35. When given the right conditions, these cactus can grow anywhere from 16 feet to 25 feet.

Cardon Cactus

The cardon cactus is the biggest cactus in the world, with a maximum recorded height of around 63 feet, a trunk diameter that can reach around 3 feet. Because of its chemical makeup and relationship with bacteria, the cardon cactus requires no soil to grow. Unlike the saguaro, the cardon cacti branches are closer to the ground and come in larger numbers. The cardon cactus can reach up to 300 years of age weigh over 25 tons. The trunk of the cardon is very spiny when it is young, but as it matures the spines eventually fall off, but very few get replaced by new ones.

Cactus For Sale Cave Creek, Arizona

If you are interested in increasing the beauty of your landscape by buying desert plants, stop by our convenient location at 33840 N. Cave Creek Rd., in Cave Creek. For customers interested in our landscaping services, give us a call at (480) 488-9455 to schedule a visit to your home.