cactus

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cactus

A regionally popular short form for
(1) Peyote, or
(2) Mescaline.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

cactus

the 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
References in periodicals archive ?
With roughly 1.3 million saguaros in the park, it's too big a job to tag all the cactuses. Instead, rangers have decided to focus on ones that are small and near access roads--characteristics that make them prime targets of thieves.
The park rangers are partnering with students from Arizona's Vail High School to implant and monitor the cactuses. Students will put the microchips in the flesh of the cactuses and help fine-tune the data-gathering process.
"This national park was set aside to preserve the saguaro cactus, so we're going to do our best to be vigilant in our law enforcement and patrols, and make sure that we're doing the best job possible protecting these giant cactuses."