Desert Cactus is a species of plant highly adaptable to hot climate conditions. Discover how cacti survives in deserts across the world including the Sahara, Gobi, Mojave, Kalahari, Arabian, Great Victoria and Chihuanhuan Desert biomes. Our interesting desert facts for kids include the most important information about cactus plants and their unique characteristics.

Factsmania's key desert facts can be used as homework help or as a classroom activity sheet for kids and teachers. Our printable facts sheet about the Desert Cactus include plant names, species, characteristics survival techniques, adaptations, size and desert location. Discover which animals feed off desert cactus plants and even build their homes within them!

Interesting Facts about the Desert Cactus:- Learn Fun Desert Cactus Facts for children with Factsmania! Find out how the desert cactus adapts in order to survive life in the hot desert biomes of the the Sahara, Gobi, Mojave, Kalahari, Arabian, Great Victoria and Chihuanhuan where the temperatures are often extremely high and the arid soil can be nutritionally poor.

Interesting Facts about the Desert Cactus:- Discover why cactus plants are important and how they provide food and protection to many animals living in the desert. Find out interesting facts about the characteristics, size, origin and features of the Desert Cactus and how they are able to exist and grow amongst hot, arid climates.

Interesting Desert Cactus Facts for Kids

Interesting Facts for Kids 1:- What are the characteristics of a desert cactus?
The desert cactus is a type of plant found growing in deserts across the world including the Sahara, Gobi, Mojave, Kalahari, Arabian, Great Victoria and Chihuanhuan. The cactus plant is succulent in nature. This means that cacti have fleshy stems capable of storing water. These particular desert plants do not have leaves, instead, they have spines which help to prevent water loss by reducing the airflow close to the cactus. The spines are in fact highly modified leaves.

Interesting Facts for Kids 2:- Desert cactus names
The following list of desert cactus names includes the most popular cacti species found growing in deserts throughout the world:

Cardon Cactus: The biggest plant in the cactus family
Saguaro Cactus: Found in the American deserts
Barrel Cactus: Inhabitant of the Mexican desert
Organ Pipe Cactus: Found only in the Sonoran desert
Prickly Pear Cactus: Cactus plant with colourful flowers
Chain Fruit Cholla: Cactus having some sort of a fruit
Hedgehog Cactus: The most prolific growing cactus plant
Fishhook Cactus: Usually found in the Southwest deserts
Munz Cholla: A rare form of cactus found in the Colorado desert
Teddy Bear Cholla: A common variety of desert cactus
Pencil Cactus: A very thin form of cactus
Claretcup Cactus: Most beautiful looking cactus plant
Buckhorn Cactus: Found growing in elevated desert regions
Whipple Cholla: Usually an upright form of cactus
Bearded Cactus: Only found in the Mexican desert

Interesting Facts for Kids 3:- Desert cactus adaptations
The cactus can adapt beautifully to the desert environment. The roots of this type of plants grow very close to the soil enabling the plant to collect available water quickly. The desert cactus can photosynthesize even in the absence of leaves as they have fixed spines instead of the leaves. The term photosynthesize can be described as the process of synthesizing sugars or other substances by means of photosynthesis. The dense formation of the cactus spines offers a lot of shade to the plant keeping the plant cool and thus reducing water loss.

Interesting Facts for Kids 4:- Desert cactus types
There are many different types of cactus which can be found growing in desert biomes across the world: Bearded Cactus, Whipple Cholla, Buckhorn Cactus, Claretcup Cactus, Pencil Cactus, Teddy bear Cholla, Munz Cholla, Fishhook Cactus, Hedgehog Cactus, Chain Fruit Cholla, Prickly Pear Cactus, Organ Pipe Cactus, Barrel Cactus, Saguaro Cactus, Cardon Cactus.

Interesting Facts for Kids 5:- Sonoran Desert Cactus
The most popular type of cactus found growing in the Sonoran Desert is the Organ Pipe Cactus. In fact, the organ pipe cactus only actually exists in the Sonoran desert. This type of Sonoran desert plant can grow to a height of 15 ft to 20 ft. The cactus acquires the shape of an organ pipe. Like all other cacti, this desert cactus has its roots close to the ground to enable it to absorb water from the soil quickly before it dries up.

Interesting Facts for Kids 6:- Mojave Desert Cactus
The most popular type of cactus found growing in the Mojave Desert is the Foxtail cactus and the Teddy bear Cholla. The Foxtail cactus is an endangered species of cactus. These plants are highly adapted to desert biomes and have the capacity to withstand air temperatures up to 1380 F. The cacti can adapt to the hot climate as their pores open only at night. The cactus survives life in the desert by using internal mechanisms.

Interesting Facts for Kids 7:- Arizona Desert Cactus
The most popular type of cactus found growing in the Arizona Desert is the Saguaro cactus. This cactus grows the highest number of arms. Some of the Saguaro cacti have deformed shapes. The cactus sprouts flowers. In fact, the Saguaro cactus flower is the state flower of Arizona. They are tall plants with stems often rising over ten feet tall before branching out.

Interesting Facts for Kids 8:- Sahara Desert Cactus
The most popular type of cactus found growing in the Sahara Desert is the African Peyote cactus. This cactus has thick stems enabling the plant to hold large amounts of water. Due to the extreme heat and lack of water, the leaves turn into spines helping the plant preserve the water from evaporation.

Interesting Facts for Kids 9:- How do cacti grow in the desert?
The cactus has adapted beautifully to the desert climate. The temperature in the desert can rise to unbearable high levels. Most types of plants cannot survive under these extreme conditions. The cactus roots grow very close to the surface of the ground and hence the roots absorb the existing moisture in the soil before it dries up. The desert cactus stores water in their expandable stems, and the stems shrink as the plant uses the moisture. The cactus plant develops pleats, and when it occasionally rains in the desert, water travels through these pleats to the ground where it is absorbed very quickly by the roots. Due to immense shortage of water, cacti species do not grow leaves, they grow spines instead which are a form of modified leaves. The cacti plant has a unique system that makes it highly adapted to desert biomes. The pores on the stem close during the day and open up at night to release a small amount of moisture.

Interesting Facts for Kids 10:- What animals eat cactus in the desert?
The cactus plant grows in arid regions, usually the deserts. Hence, it is the staple food of many desert animals. The Bighorn Sheep and the Antelope Ground Squirrel love eating cacti. You can also see the Cactus Wren and the California Thrasher building their nests in the Buckhorn Cholla. The birds trim the cactus spines with their beaks to allow them easy access to the nests. The cactus protects these birds from predators such as the Desert Fox and Coyotes. The cactus fruit is also edible and is favoured by various animal species. The Cahuilla Indians harvest the fruit of the Beavertail cactus for its sweetness.

Interesting Facts for Kids 11:- Why are cacti prickly?
Cacti grow in inhospitable environments and climates. The temperature in the desert can reach extremely high levels. In fact, most other plants cannot survive such intense heat at all. The cactus has adapted to the desert climate beautifully. The plant has very low roots, literally touching the ground. This enables them to obtain available moisture before it evaporates. The cacti plant does not have any leaves at all. In fact, the leaves develop into spines. Usually, the leaves lose a lot of water during photosynthesis. The desert cacti cannot afford to lose water, it needs to retain it for its survival. In fact, the plant has to devise methods to store water and the spines enable it to do just this. The stem performs the process of photosynthesis, and as a result, it loses moisture and develops pleats. The pleats form part of a very important system as they direct rainfall to the ground where the plants' roots are able to absorb water immediately and prevent loss. The spines also help the plants, and the animals residing inside them, by offering protection from desert predators such as the fox, coyote, and the desert birds.

Interesting Facts about the Desert Cactus for Kids

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