Cacti are unique plants, in both appearance and their ability to survive in harsh climates. Despite the common perception of cacti growing in deep deserts, many types of cacti can grow in many climates throughout the world.
Cactus plants are native to the Americas. The range of indigenous cactus plants covers almost the entire South American continent, as well as most of the U.S. and parts of Canada. Throughout the years, cacti have been introduced to areas of Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.
When most people think of cacti, they think of the desert. The large, strangely shaped green cacti that grow in many arid regions around the world are some of the strongest and most interesting plants in existence. Their ability to store water for long periods and the sharp spines on many species to discourage animals from grazing have made them formidable survivors.
As the name suggests, many "jungle cacti" originated in jungle-like environments, but they are found in other environments and tend to grow in trees or on rocks. These plants have a different look, lacking the large spines of desert cacti. They require more water than desert cacti, but still less than most other types of plants.