In Arizona, my neighbor Fred had planted two cactus fields with nice little cactus bushes in them. A few years ago, I got to wondering why none of them were turning up any flowers or fruits. My hunch was that they had been infected with some fungus that killed off all of the roots. That explains a lot. Anyway, I now have an amazing flower garden growing right next to my cactus field.
If you have ever seen a "cactus flower" - a small cactus - growing anywhere, you know it is rare. Only a handful of species typically produce flowers. The others are so closely related to other plants that they are so rare that they are considered endangered. There are only about a hundred species left in the United States, and only about twenty are producing flowers that are easy to identify, making them even rarer still.
A friend of mine has developed a cactus which is the trendy new cat tree for homeowners to grow indoors.
This one has three levels which look like mini cat trees, plus a platform at the top for hanging flowers. It comes in a variety of colors and has many succulents on it. It looks very cool and is now sold online as a beautiful and unique indoor decoration.
The cactus tree has small red, star shaped leaves, and tiny brown flowers. It's actually the smallest cactus known to man. The plant derives its name from the Latin word "canis" for palm or swaying back and forth. They are native to Mexico and Brazil, where they are used mainly for their edible foliage. In the United States, they are being grown as an ornamental plant in desert landscapes and as a decorative houseplant.
My friend bought this plant online and brought it home last week to get some pictures for her forthcoming book. She knew it was a cactus but didn't know much else so she asked her friend who is a local nursery and asked her what it looked like. Her friend replied, "It's a cactus, but it's not your normal cactus." So my friend learned before she got the book home that the cactus family is one of the most easily recognized plant families in the world.
This cat chair protector is just one of many products available from Wild Healthy Gardens and is no way related in looks or aroma to a traditional cactus. I know that the cactus has its place in the natural world, and that it can be quite aromatic when picked. But the vast majority of people who buy cactus are seeking other things and this cactus family has a long shelf life, and it grows back quite well. You can read more about the cactus family and the various products available at Wild Healthy Gardens and on my website.