Spermatophyta: Dicotyledonae: Archichlamydeae: Caryophyllales

Cactaceae - Cactus family

Gonçalves, M.L. (1978) Cactaceae Flora Zambesiaca 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: 13 cultivated genera and 18 cultivated taxa.

Pereskia aculeata

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

Cephalocereus Pfeiff.
Cereus Mill.Description, Image
Cleistocactus Lem.
Epiphyllum Haw.Description
Harrisia BrittonDescription, Image
Hylocereus (A.Berger) Britton & RoseDescription
Kroenleinia Lodé
Lophocereus Britton & Rose
Myrtillocactus Console
Opuntia Mill.Description, Image
Pachycereus (A. Berger) Britton & Rose
Pereskia Mill.Description, Image
Rhipsalis Gaertn.Description

Other sources of information about Cactaceae:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Cactaceae
Flora of Caprivi: Cactaceae
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Cactaceae
Flora of Malawi: Cactaceae
Flora of Mozambique: Cactaceae
Flora of Mozambique: cultivated Cactaceae
Flora of Zambia: Cactaceae
Flora of Zimbabwe: Cactaceae

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Cactaceae
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Cactaceae
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Cactaceae
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Cactaceae
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Cactaceae
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Cactaceae
JSTOR Plant Science: Cactaceae
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Cactaceae
Wikipedia: Cactaceae
Plants of the World Online: Cactaceae
Tropicos: Cactaceae

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Cultivated plants: Family page: Cactaceae.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/cult/family.php?family_id=42, retrieved 19 May 2024

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