About Cactus Classification

Science helped the man to classify the living things according to their family structures and helped to understand the proficiency under which they are classified. The most commonly used categorization of living things are the Classification system of Linnaean. There are also precise cactus classifications, which can enable to distinguish among many other cacti. Cactus categorization can be done according to their belonging kingdom. There are typically five kingdoms such as Monera, Fungi, Protista, Animalia and Plantae in which many diverse living beings can be categorized. Cactus classification fetches under the Plantae kingdom.

After classifying the cactus according to their kingdom, cactus can be classified according to their phylum level. This categorization is wholly based on the fundamental body structures of the living beings. Cactus is usually categorized under the vascular plants or phylum Tracheophyta. Cactus can be even classified under its class. This division is entirely based upon the living beings skeletal system, environmental adaptation and reproductive system. The divisional method is another pattern for cactus classification, in which the cacti are classified under their specific division such as Anthophyta and Magnoliophyta. The cacti lie under the class of Magnoliopsida and Dicotyledonous.        
Sub-Families of Cacti:
The cacti are classified into four sub families such as Pereskioideae, Opuntioideae, Cactoideae and Maihuenioideae. Its family consists of nearly 125-130 varieties with 1800 to 3000 different species. This cactus classification can be further explained as follows:
  • Pereskioideae is a kind of nearly 25 tropical varieties and species of cacti, which are not similar to other kinds of cacti, bearing thin steams and substantial leaves. They originated from the province between Mexico and Brazil. These genus members are typically called as leaf cacti or rose cacti, lemon cacti, although the latter refers to Epiphyllum genus. 
  • Opuntioideae is another kind of cactus family, which is also called as nopal. Presently, only prickly pears are integrated in this kind of cactus classification from nearly 250 varieties, which are distributed all throughout Americas. The majority of the culinary species are Fig Opuntia.
  • Cactoideae is the most important family member of moist plant cacti. They are mostly utilized as decorative plants. However, few of them comprise of harvest plants.
  • Maihuenioideae is the smallest sub-family member and a variety of cacti. This cactus classification consists of two cushion-forming, gluey varieties. They are mainly found at high altitude habitats of Argentina, chile and Andean.

Thus, these cactus categorizations cover up all the cacti in their kingdom. With the help of the categorizations, classifying cacti is much easy and more well-defined to people, as it specifically indicates the features of the diverse classes and family of cactus. Cactus classification thus clearly points out the different types of species and varieties existing in the cactus family.