Why Do Cacti Have Thick Stems

Cacti have numerous adaptations that enable them to survive in arid climates; these adaptations enable the plant to efficiently gather water, store it for a long time, and conserve it (minimizing water loss from evaporation).

Cacti have thick, succulent stems with rigid walls that store water when it rains. The stems are fleshy, green, and photosynthetic. Either the stem’s inside is spongey or hollow (depending on the cactus). The water inside the cactus is prevented from evaporating by a thick, waxy layer.

Long, fibrous roots are common in cactus, and these roots take moisture from the earth. Some cacti, such as ball cacti, have smaller, more compact roots that can capture dew that falls from the cactus.

Most cacti feature scales or spines in place of leaves (which are modified leaves). These scales and spines do not evaporate their water (unlike regular leaves, which lose a lot of water). Predators (animals that would like to consume the cactus to gain food and/or water) are kept at bay by the spines. On a cactus, areoles are a circular collection of spines. An areole is where flowers bud, and it is also where new stems branch.

Why do cacti have tiny spines and a big meaty stem?

Why do cacti differ from other plants in having thorns instead of leaves and a thick, meaty stem?

The appropriate choices are A The cacti can hold more water as a result. Water would be lost because of broad leaves. In the desert, you can find thorny shrubs and cactus. Their thick, fleshy stems allow them to hold more water for a longer period of time. In addition, plants in the desert have thorns rather than leaves because big, broad leaves would make water evaporate quickly. Water moves through a plant during transpiration, and it evaporates from aerial parts including leaves, stems, and flowers.

How can a cactus benefit from a fleshy stem?

Hint: Cactus plants are desert residents that thrive in arid environments. These plants have adapted to stop water from evaporating from their surface.

Complete response: Cladophylls are modified stems with a leaf-like appearance and a green color that are specialized for photosynthesis. They are typically flattened.

A cladophyll is a leaf even though it is anatomically a branch because it has nodes from which new stems, leaves, flowers, and even roots can grow. When it rains, cacti’s thick, tough-walled, succulent stems can hold water. The stem is typically either hollow or spongy on the inside. A thick, waxy layer prevents the stem from losing any water. It prevents evaporation by keeping the water inside the cactus.

Informational note: The cactus have lost their true leaves. Additionally modified with spines, the cactus’ leaves aid in lowering transpiration. Cacti’s spines also offer some protection from animals and cover. Areoles give rise to these specialized structures (highly reduced branches). Areoles are a distinguishing characteristic of cacti plants. Additionally, they produce tubular and multi-petaled flowers. Therefore, “Stems engineered to generate food using photosynthesis” is the right response.

Note: Cladophylls make up a large portion of succulents. – Cladodes, or prickly pear pads, are other names for cladophylls. – Flowers from various plants are produced by cacti, and these flowers are typically showy, delicate, and very alluring. – The pad cactus, sometimes known as prickly pear cacti, are found in the genus Opuntia, which is a sizable genus. The prickly pears are the fruit.