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Silver Torch Cactus

Photo of cactus

Mystery Cactus

I spent some time at Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach the other week and photographed this cactus.

Many of their plants have markers, but this one didn’t. This particular cactus was growing next to a prickly pear cactus. Color me perplexed.

What is the name of this cactus? I really want to know.

Of course, as a photographer, I’m more interested in the play of light on the cactus more than the botanical name, so I’ll add this one to my botanical photography collection.

But aren’t cacti intriguing? Look at all that is going on with this later-to-be-named cactus. You’ve got a succulent stem that stores water and modified leaves called spines that keep hungry predators away. What animal looking for a snack wants to munch on a plant that will leave it pricked and bloody?

Cacti have adapted to live in very dry areas of the country so they make great additions to xeriscape landscaping. Something to consider here in Florida with our lengthy dry season and numerous droughts.

UPDATE: I went back to Mounts today and with a little help from a book in its gift shop, we all decided this is a Silver Torch cactus. Mystery solved.