People normally love to touch and feel beautiful flowers, but they shy away from cactus (cacti), and for good reason too. The thorns that cover the body of the cacti are a protective measure for conserving water in the dry and arid conditions they are native to. Even though it is a thorny shrub there are many people around world who consider the cactus an unique and exotic beauty. Surviving in extremely dry conditions with its peculiar stem and bright flowers is a wonder in itself. Cacti are found in large numbers in America, Mexico, Paraguay, Bolivia and the dry parts of Africa. Cactus have evolved and adapted to store water, much like camels. The stem of this thorny shrub are found in a wide variety of colors like red, dark green, pale green and yellow which is due to difference in the quantity of sunlight they receive. Most cacti live in habitats subject to droughts and sometimes very little sunlight. These species of cacti have lost their true leaves, retaining only spines, which are highly modified leaves. Pereskia is a cacti genus that is most unlike other members of the family as they produce some leaves.
The spines are also found in a wide variety of colors just like the stem. The Cephalocereus senilis, is a variety of cacti known as ‘Grandpa Cacti’ because of the very distinct, long white hairs on it. Mammillaria and Lobivia are the best known among the genus due to their unique beauty. Rhipsalis, with more than one stem, grows upright or sprawling and Astrophytum which resembles a star is the most widely used decorative cacti. Carnegiea Gigantea is the largest known variety of cactus, and is native to Arizona. Almost all varieties of the cactus are grown in India currently.