The Ferocactus Latispinus

653 WordsFeb 17, 20183 Pages
Assignment #2 The ferocactus latispinus, commonly known as the crow’s claw cactus, is a barrel cactus originated from Mexico. The cactus is in the phylum Tracheophyta and of the family Cactaceae, with three recognized subspecies. It resides in the states of Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Querétaro, Zacatecas, Coahuila, Oaxaca, Hidalgo, San Luis Potosí, Puebla, and Mexico State. The crow’s claw grows in mountain elevations of ten thousand feet, and blooms between the months of October and March. Goats are a great factor in dispersing viable seeds of the cactus. (IUCN) The body of the crow’s claw cactus is barrel-like, and averages approximately ten to fifteen inches in height. Fourteen to twenty-three ribs and grey-black areoles compose the body of the cactus, along with four large central spines. The cactus blooms yellow or pink-purple flowers in late autumn or the early winter, and are 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter. (Faucon) A distinctive difference between crow’s claw cactus and other plants is that cacti have stems which function as leaves. Because cacti do not have leaves, stems contain main photosynthetic organs, areoles, and water storage tissues. In addition, stems are coated with a cuticle, a waxy layer that prevents water loss. A possible hypothesis as to why cacti, specifically the ferocactus latispinus, have stems rather than leaves relates to the climate in which cacti grow; environments in which cacti grow in are relatively hot and dry, with little

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