What are the parts of the cactus and what functions do they have?

Cacti are succulent plants that have managed to adapt to an arid environment, where very few animals and plants coexist. Its roots develop on sandy soil, with very few nutrients. For this reason, its parts are so striking, because they do not resemble those of other plants.

But what are the parts of the cactus like? If you also want to know what functions they have, after reading this article you will surely like this type of vegetable being more.


  • 1 Stem or vascular tissue
  • 2 Neck
  • 3 Roots
  • 4 areolas
  • 5 Thorns
  • 6 crown
  • 7 flowers
  • 8 Fruits and seeds

Stem or vascular tissue

It is in charge of transporting and distributing water and food to all parts of the cactus from the root . It is, therefore, one of the most important parts, since the plant’s life will depend on its health.


It is the part that joins the stem with the root system . When transplanting it, it is recommended to take from this area because it is much safer -for us.


They are superficial . They have a key function for the survival of the cactus: to absorb water and its nutrients so that it can be transported from the vascular tissue to the entire plant.


From them arise the thorns and the flowers of the cactus. They are shaped like a small pad, and are located on the ribs of the same . In each of them there are two types of spines: the radial ones that are small and numerous, and the central ones, which usually appear in number from 1 to 3 and are longer.


Detail of the spines of the Echinocactus grusonii

Echinocactus grusonii

They are modified leaves ; in fact, the correct term is leaf spine (foliar means relating to leaves). These have different functions: protect from the sun and herbivorous predators, direct water towards the body of the cactus and prevent water evaporation. There are some species that do not have them, such as the Astrophytum asterias , but the vast majority are armed with them. Some have very small, others very long, depending on the evolution they have had.


It is the highest part of the cactus. It connects directly with the vascular tissue , so it is responsible for its growth.


Cactus Rebutia senilis in bloom

Rebutia senilis

They are solitary and hermaphroditic . Depending on the cactus, they can be small or on the contrary large (3-4cm), with colors ranging from red to white, passing through yellow, orange and pink. In habitat, they are pollinated mainly by insects and also by bats.

fruits and seeds

The fruits are generally very small, no more than 1cm . Inside are the seeds, very small -less than 0.5cm- but numerous. These are the ones in charge of giving way to a new generation of cacti.

Did you know the parts of the cactus and their functions?

What are the parts of the cactus and what functions do they have?

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