Cactaceae Family:

Cactus on the back porch on 9-22-21, #833-2.

Cactaceae Juss.




The plant family Cactaceae was named and described by Antoine Laurent de Jussieu in Genera Plantarum in 1789.

As of 12-4-22 when this page was updated, Plants of the World Online still lists 150 genera in the plant family Cactaceae. That number could change as updates are made on POWO.

Some of the genera in this family are pretty large. Mammillaria consists of 154 accepted species alone. That number also fluctuates. A lot of work has been done with this family in recent years to fix some issues, such as multiple names and infraspecific names for the same genera/species. Ummm… It is complicated.

Llifle’s (Encyclopedia of Life) Encyclopedia of Cactus contains information on, quote, “441 plant genera and includes 17,590 scientific names and synonyms. 6,810 taxa and cultivars have their individual description sheet, 2237 of which are accepted scientific names, 419 cultivar names and 14,934 synonyms. The Encyclopedia of Cactus is illustrated with 12,217 photos.” Llifle is truly a masterpiece! Well, there are many masterpieces when it comes to sources of information, all unique in their design, with the sole aim to share knowledge about our plant kingdom. I think Cactus Art and Llifle are connected, I could be wrong, but the sharing of information, photos, and style are “synonymous” in many ways. I am curious though because there is a link to Cactuspedia on Cactus Art… It says all the information on Cactuspedia is now available also on the “NEW” Encyclopedia of Cactus through… Doesn’t matter, they are all AWESOME!

I cannot go further without mentioning Daiv Freeman and his website, CactiGuide. It is a very valuable site for positive ID and other information. I have emailed him many times when I had cactus I needed identifying and he always responded quickly with “hit the nail on the head” results. It is really good that you can contact an expert and they actually reply… I have emailed many and only a few have responded. Some people make a website and go off and leave it because they are so busy. He also maintains

My hat is off to all those who are working very hard making adjustments and maintaining these awesome websites. They work very hard and many have other jobs.

This page is dedicated to the many species of cactus I am growing and have grown in the past. You can click on their names to go to their own pages. Some cacti can be difficult, but others are easily grown if you follow a few basic rules…

For more information about this family of plants, please click on the links below. The links take you directly to the information about the family.


Acanthocereus tetragonus (Fairytale Cactus) at 5″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide on 10-28-21, #853-1.

I have had this Acanthocereus tetragonis (Fairytale Cactus) since September 2018. It has had its issues and doesn’t look as well as many photos online that may not be outside in the elements over the summer. This plant is often confused with Cereus hildmannianus subsp. uruguayanus.


Austrocylindropuntia subulata f. cristata on 9-17-13, #188-46.

I really liked this Austrocylindropuntia subulata f. cristata (Crested Eve’s Needle) I brought home in 2012. It was a great plant but didn’t survive the winter in 2014. I have not found a replacement…


Austrocylindropuntia subulata (Eve’s Needle) at 6″ tall on 8-17-21, #826-13.

I brought this Austrocylindropuntia subulata (Eve’s Needle) home from a local greenhouse on November 22 in 2019. It was very small at the time and has grown two offsets…


Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ at 2 3/4″ tall x 3 1/2″ wide on 10-15-20, #747-18.

I brought my first Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ home in 2009 and my second in 2016. Unfortunately, it didn’t make it in 2021. The first one I brought home was MUCH larger but I gave it up in 2014. The crickets bothered the first one during the night and I am not sure what chewed on the second one. I had moved the plants to the front and back porches where there was no cricket problem. So, I don’t know what chewed on this plant and I never saw any grasshoppers or anything…


Cereus hildmannianus subsp. uruguayanus ‘Fairy Castle’ on 7-19-16, #274-21.

Well, I brought this Cereus hildmannianus subsp. uruguayanus (Fairy Castles) home from Walmart in 2016 and it lived until the summer of 2021. You see really nice plants online and at garden centers but they won’t stay that way when you keep them outside. I chose the best photo I had from 2016 for this page… You definitely have to keep them away from crickets and finding the perfect light can also be tricky. The tops of the columns can also break off when they are outside. They may do better as a houseplant… This plant is often confused with Acanthocereus tetragonis.


Cereus repandus f. monstruosus ‘Rojo’ at 9 3/4″ tall x 4 3/4″ wide on 10-28-21, #853-2.

I brought the Cereus repandus f. monstruosus ‘Rojo’ in the above photo home in March 2018 and it has done great. It looks A LOT different than the first one I brought home in 2010 which I gave up in 2014. These are great plants!


Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla) on 4-1-20, #682-1.

I brought this Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla) home when it was a very small plant in 2016. It stays outside because it is cold hardy here. It has been interesting to watch through the seasons.


Echinopsis ‘Rainbow Bursts’ at 4″ tall x 7 1/2″ wide on 10-28-21, #853-4.

I have had this Echinopsis ‘Rainbow Bursts’ since February 2016. It has done very well but I would like flowers at some point. I bought this plant labeled x Echinobiva ‘Rainbow Bursts’ which was considered an intergeneric hybrid between Echinopsis and Lobivia. Lobivia became a synonym of Echinopsis


Echinopsis huascha (var. grandiflora) (Desert’s Blooming Jewel). The largest plant in the center of the pot was 6 3/4″ tall x 3″ wide on 10-28-21, #853-6.

The Echinopsis hauscha (syn. var. grandiflora) (Desert’s Blooming Jewel) was labeled Trichocereus grandiflorus when I brought “them” home from Lowe’s in September 2018. I accidentally brought home a small one by itself and a pot of six (plus a dead one in the center) on clearance.


Echinopsis mirabilis (Flower of Prayer) flower at 10:35 PM on 6-4-19, #582-6

I brought this Echinopsis mirabilis (Flower of Prayer) home from Lowe’s on March 30 in 2019. I thought it was neat because it was very dark green, almost black, and has these weird appendages that reminded m of rabbits’ feet. It also had the remains of an old flower. After bringing it home and reading up on it, I found out it flowers at night and then dies. On May 5 I noticed it was growing a bud… On the 18th I noticed it was very close to opening and I checked off and on but nothing. I forgot about it during the night and the next day it had already bloomed and wilted… After that,  it flowered twice more and I got their photos. Then, over the winter, it slowly but surely bit the dust… It was definitely a great experience.


Espostoa melanostele subsp. nana (Peruvian Old Lady) at 8 1/2″ tall x 2 1/2″ wide on 10-28-21, #853-7.

This Espostoa melanostete subsp. nana (Peruvian Old Lady) has been quite interesting. I brought it home from Walmart on February 1 in 2016 when it was only 2 3/4″ tall. The “ring” close to the bottom was on the top of the plant when I brought it home… It has definitely been interesting…


Ferocactus wislizeni (Fishhook Barrel Cactus) at 2 1/2′ tall x 3″ wide on 10-28-21, #853-8.

I brought this neat Ferocactus wislizeni (Fishhook Barrel Cactus) home from Lowe’s on March 29 in 2019. It has steadily grown to 2 1/2″ tall x 3″ wide…


Gymnocalycium baldianum (Dwarf Chin Cactus) at 1 1/6″ tall x 2″ wide after I brought it home from Wal-Mart on 12-2-20, #767-2.

What can I say? I brought this Gymnocalcium baldianum (Dwarf Chin Cactus) home from Walmart on December 2 in 2020 and it died over the summer… Hmmm…


Gymnocalycium saglionis (Giant Chin Cactus) at 2 3/8″ tall x 3 1/2″ wide on 10-28-21, #853-9.

To be quite honest, the spines of the Gymnocalycium saglionis (Giant Chin Cactus) are NOT red… It had been raining when I brought the plants inside for the winter and when you take a photo of this cactus when it is wet, the spines appear red. Otherwise, they are a grayish color which you will see if you go to this plant’s own page… Other than that, this cactus has been absolutely great since I brought it home from Lowe’s on March 29 in 2019…


Kroenleinia grusonii (Golden Barrel Cactus). Lessor (left) at 3 3/8″ tall x 3 1/4″ wide and Greater (right) at 3 5/8″ tall x 3″ wide on 10-28-21, #853-11.

I have had these two Kroenleinia grusonii (Golden Barrel Cactus) since February 1 in 2016. They have been great and have steadily grown. The label said they were Echinocactus grusonii but that name is now a synonym… Due to testing, it was found out this species was more closely related to Ferocactus, so they were given a new genus name… Now, this species is in a genus all by itself…


Mammillaria rhodantha (Rainbow Pincushion) at 4 1/8″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide on 10-28-21, #853-23.

I have more Mammillaria species than any other genus because there are so many to choose from. They come in quite a variety and can sometimes be difficult to identify when their labels just say “Mammillaria” or “CACTUS”. Even if the label has a former name (synonym) at least it gives you a starting point. I have a page for Mammillaria with photos and links to their own pages.


Opuntia monacantha (syn. var. variegata) (Joseph’s Coat) at 8 1/2″ tall on 8-17-21, #826-38.

I found this nice Opuntia monacantha (syn. var. variegata) (Joseph’s Coat) at Wagler’s Greenhouse when it was 4 3/4″ tall on March 28 in 2020. It has done quite well…


Oreocereus celsianus (Old Man Of The Andes) 7-19-16, #274-20.

Well, I tried two Oreocereus celsianus (Old Man of the Andes) and they both died… I brought home the first one in 2016 and the second in 2018, both from Walmart… I’m not sure if I will try another one.


Parodia crassigibba at 7/8″ tall x 1 7/8″ wide on 11-30-20, #766-7.

I ordered this Parodia crassigibba from Succulent Depot on Ebay. It was listed as Parodia werneri which is one of 21 synonyms. I should have known better than to order such a small cactus from Ebay but I did it anyway. Actually, I ordered Schlumbergera russelliana cuttings from this seller then added this plant and the Mammillaria senilis. This Parodia crassigibba died over the summer of 2021, I am not sure about the M. senilis because it is weird, and the Schlumbergera is fine. Anyway, when it arrived on November 30 (2020) it was only 7/8″ tall… So, the moral of the story could be not to order cacti in the winter, not to order such small plants, or not to order when the postal service is having difficulties getting packages shipped… Sometimes,  I admit, I am overconfident when it comes to cacti because I have lost very few… Most that have died have been very small plants that died not long after I brought them home or ordered them online.


Parodia lenninghausii (Golden Ball Cactus), Lessor (left) at 6 1/2″ tall x 2 3/8″ wide, Greater (right) at 6 1/8″ tall x 2 3/8″ wide on 10-28-21, #853-26.

There have been no issues with these two Parodia lenninghausii (Golden Ball Cactus) since I brought them home from Walmart on February 1 in 2016. I didn’t realize I bought two until I came home but they have been fun to watch grow side by side. I bought a lot of cacti that day and I also accidentally bought the two Kroenleinia grusonii at the same time… I like to think I rescued them from Wal-Mart. Anyway, these two Parodia lenninghausii have done great


Parodia magnifica at 2 1/2″ tall x 3 1/4″ wide on 10-28-21, #853-28

I brought this interesting Parodia magnifica (Balloon or Ball Cactus) home from Lowe’s on March 29 in 2020. It has done very well and steadily grown to 2 1/2″ tall x 3 1/4″ wide when the above photo was taken on October 28 in 2021. It is wet because we had rain before I brought the plants inside for the winter…


Polaskia chichipe (Chichipe). The largest plant in the pot measured 3″ tall on 8-17-21, #826-39.

SO, I brought this pot of three Polaskia chichipe (Chichipe, Chichituna, ETC.) home from Walmart on November 10 in 2020. Walmart had gotten in a shipment of plants from a different grower than usual and they were still on a pallet. The label just said “CACTUS” so I had no clue… I posted a photo on the Facebook group called Succulent Infatuation and a member suggested the name Polaskia chichipe. I did some research and I think the member was correct. Information online says these guys can grow up to 10′ tall… Hmmm… Polaskia chichipe typically has 9-12 ribs and the plants I brought home have only 7. Well, the smaller one has 6… Perhaps they will have more ribs as they grow. Time will tell…


Rebutia fabrisii still at 1 1/2″ tall on 8-17-21, #826-40.

I found this nice cluster of Rebutia fabrisii at Wagler’s Greenhouse on March 29 in 2021. They had brought in quite a few cactus and succulents from an auction and I picked up several.


Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri (Easter Cactus) at Wagler’s Greenhouse on 4-2-21, #787-1.

The Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri (Easter Cactus) in the above photo isn’t mine. Mrs. Wagler gave me a few cuttings she had put in a pot on November 17 in 2020 but they didn’t make it. She gave me another pot that was growing just fine on April 2 in 2021. They are doing great but I need a photo… When I did my initial research for this plant’s page, I found out the scientific name changed from Hatiora gaertneri to Schlumbergera gaertneri. When I did an update on 11-13-21, I found out the name had changed BACK to Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri. It was given this name originally in 1942.


Schlumbergera russelliana (Christmas Cactus) on 12-13-20, #770-7.

I ordered this Schlumbergera russelliana (Christmas Cactus) from a seller on Ebay and it arrived on November 30 in 2020. It has done OK, but not wonderful. Hopefully, it will bloom in 2021.


Schlumbergera truncata, yellow-flowered on 11-23-20, #762-1.

I have several Schlumbergera truncata (Holiday Cactus, ETC.) and they are really neat. I cross-pollinated two of the colors to see what would happen…


Stenocereus pruinosus (Gray Ghost) at 6 3/8″ tall x 3 1/8″ wide on 10-28-21, #853-29.

I have really enjoyed the Stenocereus pruinosus (Gray Ghost, Organ Pipe Cactus, ETC.) as a companion. Normally, it has a chalky appearance, but it rained before the above photo was taken when I moved the plants inside for the winter. I brought this plant home from Wal-Mart on February 1 in 2016 and it has been a great performer.


Tephrocactus articulatus var. papyracanthus (Paper Spine Cactus) on 8-17-21, #826-44.

When I was picking up a few cactus from Wal-Mart on February 9 in 2016, I found a piece of a Tephrocactus articulatus var. papyracanthus (Paper Spine Cactus). Of course, I brought it home otherwise it probably would have been thrown in the trash. It has turned out to be a great species to grow and it is very interesting. The segments fall off fairly easily and take root which is why the pot is full…

That’s all the member’s of the plant family Cactaceae I have experience with for now. I am quite sure there will be more in the future!


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