The cactus is not only a familiar element of home decor, located somewhere on the windowsill. Many of these plants have truly amazing properties, and the number of their species is enormous. Also cactus play an important role in the ecosystem of those regions where they grow.
The modern name “cactus” for this plant was invented by Carl Linnaeus. It comes from the ancient Greek word “cactos”, which is the designation of any plant with spines.
The great discoverer, Christopher Columbus, in his notes tells us that the aborigines he met had eaten a melon. In fact, the American Indians tasted the cactus.
The family of cactus includes 2,5 thousand species of plants.
Cactus are raw materials for the production of alcoholic beverages, shampoos, sweets, vitamins, soaps and many other things. Production wastes are fed to cattle.
The smallest representatives of the family of cactus are Blossfeldii, whose height reaches only 1-3 centimeters.
The world’s largest cactus are giant Californian Cereus, whose age can reach one and a half hundred years, and height – 20 meters. The stems of such cactus contain up to 2 tons of fresh water, suitable for drinking.
In Mexico, farmers feed cows with prickly pears, peeled to give more milk.
In Paraguay and Bolivia, cactus of the species Neowerdermannia / Weingartia were on the verge of extinction. The fact is that in the liver form they are considered real delicacies among the local residents. In Mexico, one of the favorite sweets are candied slices of the cactus Melocactus oaxacensis.
The world’s only cactus garden in the open air can be visited in Monte Carlo.
In the Australian town of Bunarg, a monument to the Argentine moth is erected, as this insect saved Australia from the excessive spread of prickly pear cactus that had a disastrous effect on local livestock production – livestock ate cactus along with needles and then died from them.
In 1956, in the body of a Brazilian in 15 seconds, there were 267 needles of cactus. This dubious record has not yet been surpassed by anyone.
Lofofor Williams is revered as a divine plant by many Indian tribes of Latin America. Indians are sure that with this cactus at a meeting it is necessary to greet, otherwise the plant will be offended and will find a spoilage on an impolite person.
Sterilized needles of cactus in the past were used by Latin American doctors to sew wounds.
Donkeys in South America are able to knock down the thorns with cactus, so that they can eat them peacefully. European animals do not possess such skills.
Dogs and wolves, for whatever reason, dislike cactus and are even afraid of them.
Scientists have proven that spines of cactus ionize the air.
Contrary to popular belief, tequila is not made from cactus.