Golden Torch Cactus
Native to: South America (Bolivia down to Argentina)
Flowering: Yes, large white nocturnal flowers
- The cactus is highly adaptive to its dry environment, consisting of a succulent stem with a low surface-to-volume ratio to reduce water loss, and spines for protection.
- The stem stores water and nutrients for the plant, conserving the little rain the plant experiences.
- The spines are highly modified leaves and offer protection for the plant
- This plant undergoes a specialized form of photosynthesis that allow the pores to open at night and store the carbon until sunlight is available to undergo photosynthesis. This allows the plant to retain its water by keeping its pores closed during the day (CAM Photosynthesis)
- Succulent stem: Note the fleshy thick green stem behind the spines of this plant, but be careful!
- Spines: note the yellow spines that cover to provide protection.
The name golden torch is given for its many yellow spines on the plant. The plant produces beautiful white flowers at the top of the plant (see photo)