It's a natural progression: As we gain appreciation for the lines, textures and shapes of succulents, we arrive at those that exhibit elegant simplicity—never mind that they have spines (in fact, sometimes because they do).
Note I’m not talking about common prickly pear—the plant most of us have bad childhood memories of. (Ow!) There are SO many other kinds of cacti. Why do I love them? These photos illustrate a dozen reasons.
In a word: symmetry. Mammillarias in particular have it nailed.
They offer astonishing textures. I mean, c'mon, fur? Opuntia sp.
Endearingly, cacti don't take themselves too seriously. Echinocactus pectinatus rubrispinus.
Some think they're snowflakes.
Others, waterlilies (Trichocereus hybrids at left)
And brains (Mammillaria elongata crest)....
Or birds. (Cleistocactus strausii)
A few are in touch with their feminine side (roses at left, opuntia at right).
Others, not so much.
More than a few are darn cute. Each of these thimble cacti is less than an inch in diameter.
But here's what I like best about cacti: How they glow when haloed by the sun. The spinier the better.
Related info on this site:
Cactus Care, Gallery and Names All cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. They’re an acquired taste, but once hooked (forgive the pun) you’ll collect more and more. About Cacti Native to deserts and dry regions of the Americas, cacti are succulents at their simplest: a water-storing body and vestigial leaves (spines). These…