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Cactus plant spines

Cactus plant spines

B620/0111

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Credit

LAWRENCE LAWRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LAWRENCE LAWRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Cactus plant. Tip of a polka dot cactus plant (Opuntia microdasys). This cactus originates from Mexico. It grows up to 90 centimetres high and spreads nearly 2 metres wide if allowed. Cacti evolved in arid environments, and have tissues adapted to minimise water loss. Cactus leaves are reduced to narrow spines (white), and the plant surface is covered in a thick, waxy outer layer. Many cacti also have a means of storing water.

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