Difference Between Cactus and Cacti

Cactus and cacti are nothing but a plant that is growing in the toughest conditions. It has many features and handles tough conditions. Cactus is known for its ultimate survival conditions in the desert. The cactus and cacti refer to the same plant which lives in deserts. Cactus and cacti belong to the family of spiny plants.

Cactus vs Cacti

The main difference between cactus and cacti is that cactus is the singular form of cacti. It represents many species in the same family. On the other hand, cacti are the singular noun. Cacti is an alternative word for the cactus. It is also called cactuses. It belongs to the family of spiny plants.

Cactus and Cacti

The cactus is nothing but a desert plant that belongs to the family Cactaceae. The Cactaceae family has 1750 species. The Cactus word is taken from the Greek word. Theophrastus is the one who uses the word cactus for a spiny plant in the early days. It has a wide range of sizes and shapes across the world. The Atacama desert is the driest place on the earth. Many cactus species are living in the Atacama desert. The cactus is nothing but a plant with a fleshy stem. The stem is thickened with enough space to store water. Cactus show many features to store enough water.

Cacti is a plant that has many features when compared to normal plants. Cacti is an adaptable plant. Cacti can live in a humid environment. It can handle heavy climates. Cacti can withstand heavy drought conditions like a desert. The cacti can show many priorities in conserving water. Most of the cacti species are succulents. Succulents mean a fleshy part responsible for conserving water. The fleshy part is thickened and it stores water during rainy seasons. The stem is responsible for cacti for storing water. The stem plays a vital role in the survival of the cacti.

Comparison Table Between Cactus and Cacti

Parameters of comparisonCactusCacti
ContextCactus is formal singularCacti is formal plural
WordCactus is an alternative wordCacti is a noun
For exampleI planted cacti in my apartmentHe brought a cactus for me.
DerivationFrom Greek word KaktosFrom cactus( Latin plural)
Word founded the year17531735

What is Cactus?

Cactus is a plant that shows many adaptable conditions. Cactus is a desert plant or a plant that grows in the driest place. Cactus has many varieties and various species. Cactus has epidermal growth called areoles. The stem has spines that have areoles. The flowers also bloom from the areoles. The spines present in the cactus help to prevent water loss during hotter climates. The spines will reduce the airflow to reduce water loss. The spines are the modified leaves of the cactus.

Cactus can absorb water quickly and store it easily. The flowers of the cactus are tubular and multi-petaled. The stem can react to rainfall and the cactus has a shallow root system that absorbs the water quickly. The stem of the cactus is rubbed and fluted. Due to the fluted stem system, the cactus can easily contract and stretch to store the water. It can easily survive in drought conditions.

Pachycereus Pringlei is the tallest cactus plant with a height of 63 feet. Blossfeldia Liliputiana is the smallest cactus with a height of 1 cm. A fully grown cactus will absorb up to 200 gallons of water during the rainy season. Most species have different look and belongs to the Cactaceae family. Cactus is also planted as a gardening plant and is also used for ornamental and food purposes by the people living in the desert. The species called Opuntia have long and sharp spines.

What is Cacti?

Cacti is a desert plant. Cacti has no true leaves. The stem is responsible for photosynthesis. There are no leaves in the cactus. Cacti are present in the driest conditions. Cacti can live in the very toughest conditions. Since cacti have no leaves, spines are the modified leaves and stems that do photosynthesis. The cacti are native to America. Many cacti species are short-term plants. The cacti also take short growing seasons. Cacti have a specialized structure that has only stem. Cacti have many features and adaptation conditions.

Cacti have many different sizes and shapes. Depending on the region and climate they are divided into many species. Cacti has attractive flowers with multipetaled. Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) is the mechanism that cacti use to store water. This mechanism will work as a part of photosynthesis. In the cactus, photosynthesis occurs at night. The plant stores the carbon dioxide, which takes as malic acid. Most of the cacti have smaller round-shaped or globe-shaped stems. It has a high space to store water during transpiration.

Leuenbergeria and Rhodocactus are some examples of cacti species. The areoles and spines represent them as cacti. The areoles are helping the plant in water conservation. Cacti are growing as forest climbers in tropical regions, which are called epiphytes. Those cacti have no spines, and the stem has a flattened leaf-like structure. They are called Christmas cacti or Thanksgiving cacti. Schlumbergera is a species with no or fewer spines.

Main differences Between Cactus and Cacti

  1. The word cactus was founded in 1753, whereas the word cacti were founded in 1735.
  2. Cactus is denote a single plant, whereas cacti denote a group of plants.
  3. Cactus is a singular noun, whereas cacti is a plural noun.
  4. When compared to cactus from a botanist view, cacti are preferred for speaking.
  5. Cactus is derived from the Greek word, whereas cacti is a Latin plural of cactus.


Cactus and cacti are the same species that belong to the same family. They have a difference in their pronunciation. Both of them refer to spiny plants. Cactus is the plural form of cacti. The major difference between them is the plural form. Both the cacti and cactus are Latin words. The plant has a round-shaped stem. They have no leaves. Both the terms refer to the same species or similar plant. The plant has no leaves. They have done photosynthesis through the stem. Cactus and cacti are mentioning the plant which grows in the driest or toughest conditions.


  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-662-02899-5_17
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1663/0006-8101(2003)069[0173:DTITC]2.0.CO;2
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