12 Types of Cactus (with Pictures)

Whilst there are hundreds of succulent kinds, cacti stand in a course all their very own. Belonging to the household Cactaceae, there are more than 2,000 species of these drought-hardy plants. You can locate their bristly varieties during the western hemisphere, extending as considerably south as Argentina and as high up as Canada.

The flawless firm of their areoles, startlingly lovely bouquets, and minimum routine maintenance demands make cacti some of the most attractive plants to grow within the property and outdoor. Find out the breadth of their kinds and habits as we appear at 12 varieties of cacti.

The 12 Most Common Types of Cactus

1. Saguaro

Saguaro Cactus_Danita Delimont_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Danita Delimont, Shutterstock
Scientific Name: Carnegiea gigantea
Height: 40 feet

Saguaro cacti only increase to about 4,000 toes above sea degree. They increase exclusively in the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona, in which their white blossoms are the condition flower.

2. Fairy Castle Cactus

Fairy Castle Cactus_suttirat wiriyanon_Shutterstock
Image Credit: suttirat wiriyanon, Shutterstock
Scientific Name: Acanthocereus tetragonus
Height: 6 feet

Though flowering is uncommon, gorgeous white and yellow blossoms will emerge under best problems. But even with out flowering, the cleanse traces of bright areoles contrast with the deep eco-friendly of the stem. The cactus develop a spectacular screen throughout the yr.

3. Powder Puff Cactus

Powder Puff Cactus_Panrinya Pangplang_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Panrinya panplang, Shutterstock
Scientific Name: Mammillaria bocasana
Height: 5 inches

The lilliputian cactus is stark white when mature, but it’s remarkably total of coloration underneath its snowy exterior. Curving spines are red or yellow, which makes a delightful complement to the bluish-environmentally friendly skin. Even though concealed, they’ll make themselves known if you slide for the prickly cactus’s deceptively gentle visual appeal and try to handle it.

4. Brittle Prickly Pear

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Image Credit: LHBLLC, Shutterstock
Scientific Name: Opuntia fragilis
Height: 8 inches

The brittle prickly pear, a low-growing, clumping variety, is notable due to the fact it grows as far north as British Columbia, a rare feat for any cactus species. Even with only growing about 1.5–2 inches thick, it develops sharp spines up to an inch long. If you can forget about the thorny appearance, the cactus will delight with big yellow blooms in the summer time and edible crimson fruit quickly soon after.

5. Golden Barrel Cactus

Golden Barrel Cactus
Image Credit: abcLONG, Shutterstock
Scientific Name: Echinocactus grusonii
Height: 3 feet

The golden barrel cactus grows gradually as a gorgeous plant for indoor and outside screen. It only adds about an inch for every yr. Flowering doesn’t generally commence until finally the crops are at the very least fourteen inches broad, so you could want to skip the propagating and purchase a mature specimen.

6. Argentine Giant

Argentine Giant Cactus_Elena Odareeva_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Elena Odareeva, Shutterstock
Scientific Name: Echinopsis candicans
Height: 3 feet

The Argentine Big is a beautiful species you’re unlikely to overlook. Nighttime blossoms in summer time are amazing, and the gigantic white flowers, which very last only 24 hrs, develop up to 8 inches vast and emit a fantastic fragrance.

7. Mistletoe Cactus

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Image Credit: Yulia_B, Shutterstock
Scientific Name: Rhipsalis baccifera
Height: 6 feet

Due to the fact it is only hardy in USDA zones 9–10, the mistletoe cactus normally operates best as a houseplant. Even though the vining succulent is eye-catching sufficient, it gets even a lot more stunning when it grows small white flowers in spring. Following the flowers die back, it grows opaque, orb-shaped fruit resembling those of true mistletoe.

8. Costa Rican Pitahaya

Scientific Name: Selenicereus costaricensis
Height: Up to 25 feet long

The Costa Rican Pitahaya is indigenous to Central The usa and grows in bunches of slender stems. They are ground-dwellers, but cultivators typically train them to stand upright. The serrated stems and pink, spiky fruit are interesting to see, but the massive white nighttime blooms that get to up to 15 inches wide are the real highlight of these wonderful vegetation.

9. Ming Thing

Scientific Name: Cereus forbesii monstrose
Height:  1 foot

With this kind of a unusual appear, the areoles do not demonstrate up in their common uniformity together the stem. They adhere close to the apex of every area. Whilst the plant takes an sudden form, it provides the reliably showy flowers you want from a cactus, this time with wonderful purple hues along with the white petals.

10. Mexican Lime Cactus

Scientific Name: Ferocactus pilosus
Height: 8 feet

The Mexican lime cactus grows summertime bouquets on its crown in brilliant combos of reds and yellows. Flowering is rare in cultivation, but the cacti’s beautiful spines provide a splendid aesthetic, nevertheless. Areoles lining the several ridges all around the barrel increase prolonged, crimson red spikes, making a stunning complexity of color with the darkish inexperienced cactus pores and skin.

11. Blue Flame Cactus

Scientific Name: Myrtillocactus geometrizans
Height: 15 feet

Greenish white flowers get there in spring, but they are relatively modest. The fruits that follow, a selection of dim red berries, are incredibly sweet and make the plant well-known for cultivation.

If you want a exclusive search in your property, yet another sort of blue flame cactus, the “Elite Crest”, is also well worth your consideration. Alternatively of increasing into a column, this range grows into a ruffled coral-like shape, which seems to be a lot distinct from your common cactus.

12. Blossfeldia Liliputana

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Image Credit: CHISAPATH CHOOTHONG, Shutterstock
Scientific Name: Blossfeldia liliputana
Height: <0.5 inches

Orderly rows of white areoles swirl about the sleek inexperienced pores and skin to develop an immaculate spiraled search. White and pink bouquets emerge in late spring and usually develop somewhat broader than the cactus human body.


Cacti are some of the most striking crops you can carry to your residence, regardless of whether you plant them amid your outside landscaping or in your indoor pots. The impeccable symmetry and business are spectacular to behold, and the extraordinary styles they just take can look downright impossible at instances.

Capping off their magnificence is the flowering, which is the most spectacular you can locate amongst succulents and even amongst most crops in common. Cacti make superb specimens, and as arguably the most lower-servicing vegetation you can increase, there’s no cause to depart them out of the surroundings.

Highlighted Image Credit score: Yigithan Bal, Pexels