cactus(redirected from cactus family)
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cactusA regionally popular short form for
(1) Peyote, or
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.
cactusthe common name for members of the family Cactaceae, all of which, with one possible exception (Rhipsalis), are native to the continent of America. Most cacti are XEROPHYTES and succulents, found in deserts which have infrequent but heavy rainfall; cacti are absent from deserts with little or no rainfall. Epiphylum species and their relatives are found in rain forests and are chiefly EPIPHYTES. Cacti are distinguished from other succulents by having an areole, a pin-cushion type of structure from which wool, spines, new shoots and flowers develop. Other succulents do not possess an areole even though spines may be present.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005