Cactaceae Juss.
  • Gen. Pl. 310. 1789. (4 Aug 1789)
  • Cactus Family


This taxon is accepted by World Flora Online consortium
Notes: More details could be found in The Plant List v.1.1. Originally in The Plant List v.1.0

General Information

Trees, shrubs, subshrubs, or somewhat vinelike, solitary to forming mats or clumps, terrestrial (sometimes deep-seated in substrate) to epiphytic or epipetric, erect to sprawling (rarely scrambling or climbing) or pendent in epiphytic or epipetric taxa, simple to many branched, usually stem succulent. Roots diffuse, taproots, or tuberlike, sometimes adventitious. Stems unsegmented or segmented, segments persistent to easily detachable; long shoots spheric to depressed-spheric or club-shaped to long cylindric, or sometimes flattened cladodes, smooth, tuberculate and/or fluted with ribs; tubercles distinct as nipple-shaped or ridgelike (to triangular or pyramidal) protuberances to coalescent as vertical ribs; ribs 2-30[-40+], if ribs 2, stems winged, if ribs 3 or more, stems ± angled; short shoots (areoles) positioned on crests of ribs, at or near tubercle apices, or in axils of tubercles, commonly bearing persistent spines, also minute, barbed, deciduous spines (glochids) in subfam. Opuntioideae, and abundant, dense hairs (wool) creating a cushionlike appearance. Leaves deciduous to persistent, vestigial or absent, spirally alternate, sessile (petiolate to subsessile in Pereskia and several genera outside the flora), terete or flat, 0-3 cm (to 10 cm in Pereskia); stipules absent. Spines flexible and hairlike or bristlelike to rigid and needlelike or nail-like, terete to angled or flat, mostly hard (rarely corky or papery). Flowers bisexual (rarely unisexual or with bisexual and pistillate flowers on separate plants), nocturnal or diurnal, 1(-several) per areole, arranged in true inflorescence only in subfam. Pereskioideae, or chains of fruits proliferating from fruit areoles (in Cylindropuntia fulgida), sessile (pedicellate in Pereskia), arising from stem areole at apex or axil of tubercle, radially symmetric [bilaterally symmetric]; flower tube 0.2-15[-30] cm; perianth epigynous (perigynous in some Pereskia), deciduous or persistent on fruit; tepals 5-50 or more, intergrading gradually from bractlike or sepal-like outer tepals to petal-like inner tepals; stamens usually 50-1500+ [sometimes fewer], decurrent on inner surface of flower tube; true ovary sunken in stem with tubercles present or absent, areoles conspicuous to obscure or absent; subtending scales persistent or deciduous, sometimes absent; spines present or absent, glochids present only in subfam. Opuntioideae; pistils compound, 1-locular; placentas parietal, 3-14[-20+]; style 1; nectary usually forming chamber around base of style; stigma lobes 3-14[-20+], 1 per placenta. Fruits basically berrylike (variable in succulence), deciduous or long persistent, indehiscent or dehiscent, succulent or leathery, sometimes promptly drying. Seeds (0-)5-3000+, yellowish, reddish, brown, black, or appearing tan or whitish (dark testa completely covered by pale, tough, glabrous or rarely pubescent, tight-fitting aril or "funicular envelope" in subfam. Opuntioideae), pyriform, obovoid, lenticular-reniform, or nearly circular, 0.4-12 mm diam.; testa glossy or dull; rarely with corky arillate appendages (strophioles in Mammillaria tetrancistra). x = 11.

  • Provided by: [B].Flora of North America @ efloras.org
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 

    Fleshy perennials, shrubs, trees or vines, terrestrial or epiphytic. Stems jointed, terete, globose, flattened, or fluted, mostly leafless and variously spiny. Leaves alternate, flat or subulate to terete, vestigial, or entirely absent; spines, glochids (easily detached, small, bristlelike spines), and flowers always arising from cushionlike, axillary areoles (modified short shoots). Flowers solitary, sessile, rarely clustered and stalked (in Pereskia), bisexual, rarely unisexual, actinomorphic or occasionally zygomorphic. Receptacle tube (hypanthium or perianth tube) absent or short to elongate, naked or invested with leaflike bracts, scales, areoles, and hairs, bristles, or spines; perianth segments usually numerous, in a sepaloid to petaloid series. Stamens numerous, variously inserted in throat and tube; anthers 2-loculed, dehiscing longitudinally. Ovary (pericarpel) inferior, rarely superior, 1-loculed, with 3 to many parietal (rarely basal) placentas; ovules usually numerous; style 1; stigmas 2 to numerous, papillate, rarely 2-fid. Fruit juicy or dry, naked, scaly, hairy, bristly, or spiny, indehiscent or dehiscent, when juicy then pulp derived from often deliquescent funicles (except in Pereskia). Seeds usually numerous, often arillate or strophiolate; embryo curved or rarely straight; endosperm present or absent; cotyledons reduced or vestigial, rarely leaflike.

  • Provided by: [D].Flora Of CHina @ efloras.org
    • Source: [
    • 5
    • ]. 

    Morphology

    Seeds mostly without endosperm

  • Provided by: [C].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FWTA
    • Source: [
    • 1
    • ]. 

    Stamens numerous, free or adnate to the base of the petals

  • Provided by: [C].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FWTA
    • Source: [
    • 1
    • ]. 

    Ovary inferior, 1-celled, with parietal many- or rarely few-ovuled placentas; stigma usually radiate

  • Provided by: [C].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FWTA
    • Source: [
    • 1
    • ]. 

    Fruit baccate, many-seeded

  • Provided by: [C].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FWTA
    • Source: [
    • 1
    • ]. 

    Succulent herbs and shrubs of diverse habit, often very spiny, and usually with much reduced leaves

  • Provided by: [C].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FWTA
    • Source: [
    • 1
    • ]. 

    Flowers hermaphrodite, actinomorphic, often handsome, but very small in the African species (Rhipsalis)

  • Provided by: [C].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FWTA
    • Source: [
    • 1
    • ]. 

    Calyx-tube adnate to the ovary and often produced beyond; lobes few to many, or reduced to minute teeth

  • Provided by: [C].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FWTA
    • Source: [
    • 1
    • ]. 

    Petals 6 or more

  • Provided by: [C].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FWTA
    • Source: [
    • 1
    • ]. 

    Carpels 3–?, syncarpous; ovary inferior, unilocular with 3–? parietal placentas; ovules ?; style single with 3–? stigmatic lobes

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Fruit a berry

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Flowers solitary on areoles, sessile (except in Pereskia), bisexual, usually actinomorphic; perianth segments ? (5–13 in species of FZ area), imbricate in bud, with gradual transition between sepals and petals, fused below to form a tube (hypanthium)

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Stamens ?, inserted at base of perianth; anthers 2-thecous, splitting longitudinally

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Seeds ?

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Succulent perennials with stems of varied shape and bristles arising from complex axillary structures (areoles)

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Fruit a dry or juicy berry, often spiny, bristly or scaly

  • Provided by: [A].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Ovary almost always inferior, with 3–? parietal placentas; ovules ?; style single; stigma-lobes 3–?

  • Provided by: [A].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Stamens ?; filaments variously inserted on or at base of perianth; anthers 2-thecous, splitting longitudinally

  • Provided by: [A].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Stems terete, globular, flattened or fluted, mostly leafless and variously spiny; spines always arising from complex axillary structures (areoles)

  • Provided by: [A].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Highly specialized fleshy perennials of diverse habit

  • Provided by: [A].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Perianth segments ?, closely imbricated in bud, in a sepaloid to petaloid series, ± free or fused below to form a short or elongate tube (hypanthium)

  • Provided by: [A].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Seeds ?, variously arillate or carunculate, with or without endosperm; embryo straight or curved

  • Provided by: [A].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Flowers solitary or rarely clustered, sessile (except in Pereskia), almost always bisexual, usually regular

  • Provided by: [A].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Distribution

    A large, almost exclusively American family, several of whose members are grown as ornamentals in East Africa. The epiphytic genus >i>Rhipsalis is sometimes considered to be indigenous in Africa, and a number of >i>Opuntia species have become widely naturalized

  • Provided by: [A].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    • Source: [
    • 3
    • ]. 

    Literature

    SELECTED REFERENCES

    Anderson, E. F. 2001. The Cactus Family. Portland. Barthlott, W. and D. R. Hunt. 1993. Cactaceae. In: K. Kubitzki et al., eds. 1990+. The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants. 4+ vols. Berlin etc. Vol. 2, pp. 161-197. Benson, L. D. 1969b. Cactaceae. In: C. L. Lundell. 1942-1969. Flora of Texas. 3 vols. in parts. Dallas and Renner, Tex. vol. 2, pp. 221-317. Benson, L. D. 1982. Cacti of the United States and Canada. Stanford. Gibson, A. C. and P. S. Nobel. 1986. The Cactus Primer. Cambridge, Massachusetts. Hunt, D. R., comp. 1999. CITES Cactaceae Checklist, ed. 2. Kew. Hunt, D. R. and N. P. Taylor, comps. 1990. The genera of Cactaceae: Progress towards consensus. Bradleya 8: 85-107. Wallace, R. S. 1995. Molecular systematic study of the Cactaceae: Using chloroplast DNA variation to elucidate cactus phylogeny. Bradleya 13: 1-12. Wallace, R. S. and A. C. Gibson. 2002. Evolution and systematics. In: P. S. Nobel, ed. 2002. Cacti: Biology and Uses. Berkeley. Pp. 1-21.

  • Provided by: [B].Flora of North America @ efloras.org
    • Source: [
    • 4
    • ]. 

    Included Genus

    Other Local Names

    NameLanguageCountry
    Cactus Family

     Information From

    Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    https://www.kew.org/science/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/strategic-outputs-2020/plants-of-the-world-online
    http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/terms-and-conditions
    • A
    Flora of North America @ efloras.org
    http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=1
    'Flora of North America @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=1 [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • B Flora of North America Association
    Plants Of the World Online Portal - FWTA
    https://www.kew.org/science/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/strategic-outputs-2020/plants-of-the-world-online
    http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/terms-and-conditions
    • C The Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
    Flora Of CHina @ efloras.org
    http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2
    'Flora of China @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2 [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • D Missouri Botanical Garden
    Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    https://www.kew.org/science/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/strategic-outputs-2020/plants-of-the-world-online
    http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/terms-and-conditions
    • E
    Cactaceae
    World Flora Online Data. 2017.
    • F CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
    World Flora Online consortium
    http://www.worldfloraonline.org/organisation/WFO
    World Flora Online Data. 2018.
    • G CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).