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If we divide the groups into four simple groups, this will help guide when first trying to familiarize yourself with the many different species. There can be exceptions to the rule in dividing into groups. for example, most columnar cacti can start off as globular when very young and likewise.

These groups are rainforest cacti, Prickly pears, Columnar cacti, and Globular cacti.

Rainforest Cacti

Let’s start with rainforest cacti, which mostly have flat and leaflike or cylindrical stems. They mostly grow the large size, and are ideal for hanging pots or are cultivated for their flowers. They prefer humidity and shade during the brightest part of the year examples Christmas cacti or Easter cacti an orchid cactus belongs to this group.

Prickly pear

Like Opuntias, they have flattened disc-like pads ranged on top of each other like Bunny ears. Because of the unusual shape they formed. Collectors like their appearance and supination. But most are classed as weed as they are a menace in the Outback. the leaves break off very easily because the thorns attach themselves to whatever goes past. It strikes quite easily in the ground. These plants require very bright conditions.

Columnar Cacti

Tall columnar shape plants, like Cereus, are classed in this group. Many will not flower until they are large. Ideal for gardens and make good feature plants for the outdoors. Fast-growing species require bright conditions. Some Cleistocactus, Cereus, Espostoa, Pachycereus species like this.

Globular Cacti

Smaller growing plants such as Parodia, Rebutia, Gymnocalycium, Mammillaria. Are popular in most cactus collections there are many a small growing and will flower often. Ideal for smaller pots easy to place in different areas of your yard. Collected like their appearance in their attractive flowers that draw them in. Most require bright conditions.

Placing them into groups can help you in growing your plants and identifying them down the track.