Distribution: It is a family that is mostly from America. Cacti are among the most resistant plants to aridity and, consequently, thrive in very dry regions.
Characteristics: The group is characterized by presenting changes in its vegetative structure, such as its fleshy (succulent) form, the presence of thorns and spikes, as well as its large solitary flowers of bright colors; They are shrubs and usually do not exceed 2 m high. Its stems are erect, very branched, cylindrical and laterally flattened. Some have edible fruit.
Thorns are transformed leaves that vary in shape and size. The more thorns the cactus has, the greater the protection against the sun, since they can condense the moisture with what the drops that form, fall to the earth and is absorbed by the roots. Some plants form offshoots that break off easily and their hook-shaped spines hook into the skin of some animals and are thus transported for kilometers where they fall and form a new plant.
Importance: Cacti fulfill multiple functions in nature, as they are a source of forage for many animals, maintain balance in ecosystems, are used as raw material for construction, serve as a source of food in human gastronomy, ornamental and offer different ethnobotanical uses.