The cactus family, comprising plants that have succulent stems, bearing tufts of spines, and leaves that are reduced or absent (except in Pereskia). Flowers are solitary, sessile, showy, and hermaphrodite, with many parts, and the ovary is inferior. The fruit is a juicy or leathery berry with many seeds. The family has no close relatives. A few cacti are epiphytes. There are 130 genera, with about 1650 species, occurring in the semi-deserts of America (with Rhipsalis in Madagascar and Sri Lanka).
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.