Cactus House

Cactus HousePicture Gallery

Surely Cacti are very fascinating plants. The family of Cactaceae has none but succulent (lat.: succus = juice) members. They all are restricted to the American continent, reaching from Tierra del Fuego up to Canada, from sea-level up to the highest mountain ranges. Because the climatic conditions in their native places are so different, they do look very variable. Many are hidden under a thick cover of thorns (thorns are transformed leaves) not only to defend their hoard of water against thirsty animals but also to enable them to withstand low temperatures (to -20°) or extremely high solar radiation. Others grow in the shade of bigger plants in humus soil and need moisture and moderate temperature permanently. Some even developed to epiphytes (plants growing on top of other plants, providing themselves with aerial roots only) and are thus able to live in airy tree-tops. The Botanical Garden of Innsbruck cultivates about 500 different species of cacti and presents them in two greenhouses, covering an area of 330 m².