Spermatophyta: Dicotyledonae: Archichlamydeae

Cactaceae - Cactus family

Gonçalves, M.L. (1978) Cactaceae FZ 4

Leistner, O.A. (ed.) (2000) Seed plants of southern Africa: families and genera Strelitzia 10

Description of the family

Herbs, perennials, epiphytes, shrubs or trees, usually succulent. Stems variously modified: cylindric, flattened or spherical, bearing complex axillary, rounded, usually raised structures (areoles) The areoles bear flowers, leaves, spine clusters and often barbed bristles. Leaves present, often deciduous, or reduced or 0. Flowers solitary, sessile (except Pereskia), bisexual, usually actinomorphic. Perianth segments in gradual transition from green sepals to often very showy petals. Stamens numerous. Ovary inferior, 1-locular. Fruit usually a berry, rarely a capsule.

Worldwide: 97 genera and 1,400 species, mostly hot and dry habitats in the New World, a few Old World tropical.

Zimbabwe: 4 genera and 5 taxa.

Rhipsalis baccifera

More sample images from the Cactaceae (Click on each image to see a larger version and details of the record)

Rhipsalis baccifera

Rhipsalis baccifera

Opuntia ficus-indica

Opuntia ficus-indica

Pereskia aculeata

Pereskia aculeata

Cereus jamacaru

Cereus jamacaru

Opuntia fulgida

Opuntia fulgida

Links to genera:     View: living plant images - herbarium specimen images - all images for this family

GenusContent
Cereus Mill.Image
Opuntia Mill.Description, Image
Pereskia Mill.Description, Image
Rhipsalis Gaertn.Description, Image

Other sources of information about Cactaceae:

Our websites:

Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Cactaceae
Flora of Mozambique: Cactaceae
Flora of Zambia: Cactaceae

External websites:

GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Cactaceae
Google: Web - Images - Scholar


Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-14

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2014). Flora of Zimbabwe: Family page: Cactaceae.
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/family.php?family_id=42, retrieved 24 October 2014

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