When you think about plants, pictures of flowers and tree probably pop into your mind. But Southern Nevada is also home to a variety of beautiful, and sometimes prickly, cacti. They may not be the most beautiful plants to some people, but we think they deserve a mention. In fact, there are over 1700 species of cacti across the world. Many ecosystems have some sort of cactus included in the natural growth. So below are our three favorite cacti native to our home of Southern Nevada.
- Beavertail Cactus
Scientific Name: Opuntia basilaris
This small to medium sized cactus only grows up to 24 inches tall. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in beauty. They can grow pink or rosy colored flowers when properly cared for, and the buds are absolutely adorable. Native Americans actually used to eat this cactus and it’s easy to see why. It can expand outward, growing hundreds of pads, meaning plenty of food to enjoy. But for modern day gardeners, they can be tamed to make a ice addition to any front yard.
- Golden Barrel Cactus
Scientific Name: Echinocactus grusonii
If you’re looking for something unique, the golden barrel cactus fits the bill. It’s actually a cactus that forms in the shape of a sphere, and sits very close to the ground. The big problem with this type of cactus is that it’s endangered in the wild. It grows in rocky areas that are mainly being developed now, limiting our chances to see the golden barrel growing naturally. This also means the price of purchasing your own golden barrel cactus varies widely from $20 to $180, depending on a variety of factors. We, personally, think it’s completely worth the cost and will be adding it to our own gardens shortly.
- Cardone Grande
Scientific Name: Echinopsis terscheckii
Prepare to lose your breath at the site of this marvel of a cactus. It’s not small, it’s not medium, it’s definitely large. It’s known to grow up to 25 feet tall in fact! They also grow little blue fruits that are interesting to take a look at. Now, it is for sure a prickly breed of cactus, so keep your hands off. They grow yellowish spikes that can be up to 4 inches long. Ouch!
As you can see, cacti are very diverse in features, size, and more. Some bud and flower, some grow tall, some turn a variety of colors. Many are very easy to take care of in a garden since they are designed for a desert climate, so they are perfect for gardeners lacking a true green thumb. Whenever you talk about plants, you simply can’t forget these beauties.
Did you enjoy this fun little article? If so, share it away on Facebook, Twitter, and all those social media sites with your friends. And if you have any experience with our myriad of local cacti, comment below to tell us about what you did to care for them or what your favorite types are. We love hearing from you all!