Space Flora | Green, Thorny, Sexy Plants: Why Do Cactus Have So Many Thorns?

Green, Thorny, Sexy Plants: Why Do Cactus Have So Many Thorns?

If you’ve ever come in contact with a cactus, then you know they have plenty of spiky thorns. But why do they have so many? Well, the answer lies in their environment and evolutionary history. Let’s take a deeper look into what makes cacti the prickly plants that we know and love (or hate).

Adaptation for Survival

Cacti can be found in deserts all over the world. These areas are usually very dry and hot, making it difficult for plants to survive. To make up for this harsh environment, cacti have adapted to retain water better than any other plant. That thick skin of theirs helps them hold onto moisture longer while also providing protection from animals that would like to snack on them.

The thorns on cacti help protect them from predators such as birds, small mammals, and even humans by making them more difficult to touch or eat. The sharp spines also make it hard for sand to stick to their bodies when wind blows through the desert. This can help keep the sun off of them during hot days and prevent water loss through evaporation.

Why Do Cactus Have So Many Thorns?

The Thorns of Cacti Help With Pollination

In addition to protecting cacti from animals, those pesky thorns are also beneficial for pollination! Many species of cactus flowers attract ants with sweet nectar at its base instead of bees or butterflies which can’t survive in desert climates. The ants climb all over the thorns which helps spread pollen from flower to flower as they travel around looking for food. This ensures that these prickly plants get pollinated just like any other type of flower!

Why Do Cactus Have So Many Thorns?

Cactus may not be everyone's favorite plant but they certainly deserve some respect! Those pesky thorns aren't just there to annoy us; they actually play an important role in helping these plants survive their harsh surroundings. Although we may never fully understand why those spines exist, one thing is clear—they're here to stay! Gardeners everywhere should remember this if they want a successful cactus garden without any painful (and unexpected) encounters with these prickly plants!

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