Patterns and Shapes in Nature- 14

Prickly beauty

This is a prickly beauty…look at the pattern formed by the spines!
Barrel cacti (Echinocactus) are cute, round specimens with different-coloured spines; this golden barrel cactus shows bright yellow spines.
Cacti are succulents with woody or herbaceous stems that contain chlorophyll. The fleshy stems store water and perform photosynthesis to feed the plant. Unlike other succulents, cactus plants have cushion-like areoles on the surface of the stems, carrying stiff hairs or thorns.
Most cacti have spines. Cactus spines are actually modified leaves that protect the cactus plants from munching by wildlife and also help to prevent water loss. Many of the cacti are grown as ornamental plants.


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