Cacti in the Everglades

cactiCacti in the Everglades? Huh? I thought cacti grew in deserts. They do, but they also thrive in tropical and subtropical environments. In fact, there’s many species of cacti that are native to the Everglades.

These cacti enjoy the heavy rainfalls in the Everglades, as well as the sunny and hot days. These cacti like the sandy, rocky, alkaline soils found throughout the wetland.

In the Everglades, the cacti species Simpson’s applecactus (Harrisia simpsonii) lives but is endangered. This cacti is large and has white, fragrant flowers that bloom at night. It’s nickname is “Queen of the Night.” Bats, moths, and other insects are attracted to these flowers because of their sweet smell and help pollinate the cacti.

Another endangered cacti in the Everglades is the mistletoe cactus (Rhipsalis baccifera). Sadly, it has not been spotted in the park since 2005! The last-known mistletoe cactus was destroyed by a hurricane.

There is also several prickly-pear cacti in the park including Opuntia eburnispina, humifusa, and stricta. These cacti have fleshy, green pads, large yellow/orange/red flowers, and reddish-purple fruits. The prickly pear cactus’ flowers bloom for only one day. The

The triangle cactus (acanthocereus tetragonus) is a large cactus that can grow up to 23 feet in height. It has white flowers that open around midnight and close at dawn. It produces two-inch, red fruit.


Explore the Everglades by Private Airboat Tour

The Everglades is the perfect location for you to get a view of so much different plant life, including cacti. On an airboat tour, you’ll have the opportunity to see so many plants and flowers. Even if you don’t see a cactus, there will be so many other plants you will see and learn about on your trip.

If you’re ready to explore the Everglades, do so by airboat! It’s a fun adventure! To book an airboat tour, call Captain Mitch’s Airboat Tours at 800-368-0065 or click our Private Everglades Airboat Tours page.