The thorny green plants that spread through most of the deserts are not at all ugly or unimpressive –not that I need to mention this but there are people who might think so. The name cactus is derived from the Latin name of a plant known in Ancient Greek as Kaktos. Cactus belongs to the family of Cactaceae, originally an American family of plants doted by plant lovers for many reasons.
The best part of cacti is that not only they can survive droughts and dry conditions, they actually thrive in them! With no actual leaves, the usual look we see is that of stems covered with spines. They have more than 1500 different species, and the Arizonian region has most of them with sizes ranging between a few inches and humongous treelike plants that can achieve more than 30 feet of height. And contrary to common knowledge, if you see fleshy cactus fruit hanging from them anywhere, most of them would be edible –most known about fruit is the saguaro.
Since a long time ago, people have been putting cacti to decorative uses with enthusiasts paying off handsome sums of money to get the best looking ones. Nowadays, we often see cacti planted in greenhouses where the outdoors weather doesn’t allow them to prosper; usually the gardens in northern and northeastern America.
Some of the most notable Cactus Gardens are the Huntington Desert Garden and the Botanical Cactus Gardens of Ethel M. The main reasons behind such botanical gardens are the preservation of endangered species as well as the love for plants. Apart from putting up exotic types of plants on display for the visitor’s pleasure these gardens provide valuable insights into the plants. The experts would provide laymen with information regarding the specie types and uses that they can be put to, enlightening people on the growing and fostering of cacti for their homes and more. Educational tours guided by a specialist in the botanical studies would educate the tourists and local visitors during exhibitions and other events that regularly take place at the premises. –paying special emphasis to raising awareness.
The Botanical Cactus Garden of Ethel M has received prominence among plant lovers and tourists alike for the fact that it has one of the largest collections of cacti all over the United States combined in a self maintained habitat. Claiming to be Nevada’s largest compilation the garden boasts of naturalistic features meaning that when people visit they will be able to enjoy the place as if they were in the natural habitat of the plants. Spanning over 15000 cubic yards the place has more than 300 species with each one of them acclaimed for some specialty like flora displays and beauty. If you get a chance to visit them, make sure you stay after sunset for a lighting display held every night that gives the whole place a mesmeric, magical effect!