Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Succulent Plant Identification

All that is thorny need not be repulsive. As long as there is regularity in �thorniness� succulent plants identification can be helpful in admiring their beauty. They definitely cannot be shooed away if not wooed in. succulent plants identification is not a vague mysticism but the welcome song that is supposed to be sung by succulent plants popularly known as cactus.

A plant that is cursed to show only thorns and not beautiful flowers or sweet fruits unlike others yet a cactus has takers in the cacti gardens have become places of attraction shown by tourists and travelers when visiting the city. Therefore there has been a considerable rise in the number of people interested in the succulent plants identification. They usually take pictures from these places and put them on the internet to have them identified as expert and then treasure the information about them.

A layman might come out with the observation, perhaps apparently is not incorrect, that �thorns adorn the cacti�. �Thorns� are actually thorns in the thinking of such people. They are, in fact, modified leaves, referred to as �spines�. This is the first step towards succulent plants identification, i.e. to know about their parts and their correct nomenclature. Aren�t cacti then worth its spine? This is quite unlike some of us human beings?

Cacti have stems bearing specialized, felted short shoots, called areoles. This is the next foot forward towards succulent plants identification. These areoles also act as identification benchmarks for different varieties. The areoles develop spines Species vary but shrub species are common and prominent amongst them being the dwarf species that are restricted to cliffs. Contrast with this the specie found in high, dry, dense and very humid forests are in the form of tree up to 20 meters.

Cacti which are flattened and have leaf like structure are presently regarded as succulent plants. This feature would have got developed during its adaptability of the plant to the conditions of desert which is its true native place. Now in the present times this feature marks its importance in succulent plants identification. That, �necessity is the mother of all inventions� is amply substantiated by �the gift of being fleshy�. We humans loathe being fleshy, interpreted in today�s times as obesity. But the �obesity� of the cacti is on account of the storage of water to combat the adversity caused by the arid climates of desert and semi-deserts, a thing of necessity. Here day time temperatures are high. Nature has provided these species with special mechanisms that collect and conserve the limited moisture that could be extracted from dews, mists and fogs. A value addition to the principle of collection and conservation of scarce resources like water from which, humans can pluck a leaf and can take a cue. Food for thought, indeed!

Cacti display an amazing trait of adaptive-ness to varying conditions that are climatic and ecological. Ordinarily endemic to the New World, this succulent plants identification trait has been helpful in adapting to the different climatic conditions. Cacti have been introduced and naturalized in warmer parts of the Old World. From rainless dessert to tropical rain forests that receive more than 200 mm of rain per year from sea level to a height of 5200m in the Andes they survive and revive with silent majesty. They are resistant to conditions of heat, rain, aridity, frost, etc. It is a wonderful hobby to get into the succulent plants identification by understanding their growing and flowering patterns.

(Words: 582)

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