The thorns of cacti: what they are for and why these plants have abandoned their leaves

Just as we find a wide variability of shapes and colors in the leaves of botanical species in general, which can be flat, fleshy, needle-shaped, ovate, heart-shaped, lanceolate, etc., we find the same variety in the thorns of cacti. Over the millennia, evolution has led to a remarkable range of shapes and colors, with spines that can have a papery or elastic and very fine consistency or, again, appear rigid, squat and short, long and broad, flat or tapered, sharp, hooked, black, gray, white, red, yellow. In general we can say that cacti are the only plants to have thorns, since in other specimens of the botanical world it is not entirely correct to speak of real thorns. Let’s think of the common roses: what we call thorns are actually excrescences that are produced along the stems, alternating with the leaves, which cacti do not have. So what exactly are thorns and how did cacti come to evolve with these “weapons” along the stem? What is the function of the spines in cacti? Why are some pointed while others are hooked? And why are there also cacti that have no thorns at all?

We will answer all these questions in the following article. (…)

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Crassula ovata, “Jade Tree” or “Money Plant”: here’s how to grow this beautiful succulent

Commonly known as the “jade tree” due to the bright green color of its fleshy leaves, or the “money plant” due to the roundish/elongated shape of the leaves, Crassula ovata is a very common succulent plant in cultivation. It can also often be observed in apartments, where it grows well thanks to its great adaptability and where it can add an unexpected touch of green thanks to its sapling habit, with thick and robust brown branches. Crassula ovata is certainly a common plant, not at all sophisticated, and simple in its forms; however, it has its own charm and the ease of cultivation makes it a succulent practically within everyone’s reach.

In the following article we see in detail where it comes from, what are the cultivation needs of this succulent, what are its weaknesses and how it can be successfully reproduced even by those who are beginners in the cultivation of succulent plants. (…)

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