Distinctive plant families of the southwest
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Distinctive Plant Families of the Southwest. Cactaceae, Agavaceae, and Fabaceae. Cactus The rest are not cacti. CACTACEAE: Cactus Family. Which is/are not a cactus? How do you know? Clue 1: All cacti are succulent but not all succulents are cacti Clue 2: Not everything spiny is a cactus.

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Distinctive plant families of the southwest

Distinctive Plant Families of the Southwest

Cactaceae, Agavaceae, and Fabaceae


Cactaceae cactus family

Cactus

The rest are not cacti

CACTACEAE: Cactus Family

  • Which is/are not a cactus? How do you know?

  • Clue 1: All cacti are succulent but not all succulents are cacti

  • Clue 2: Not everything spiny is a cactus


Cactaceae cactus family1

Many petals and sepals that blend

Many anthers – usually hundreds

Several to many stigma lobes

CACTACEAE: Cactus Family

  • Unique Characteristics

    • Flower


Cactaceae cactus family2
CACTACEAE: Cactus Family

  • Unique Characteristics

    • Areoles:modified branch containing buds, hairs, and spines


Agavaceae agave family
AGAVACEAE: Agave Family

  • Most are evergreen leaf succulents with spine-tipped leaves arranged in a rosette


Agavaceae agave family1
AGAVACEAE: Agave Family

  • Agave:

    • Most flower only once in lifetime (usually after 10-30 yrs)

    • Mostly pollinated by bats (provide complete diet).

Shin dagger (Agave schottii)


Agavaceae agave family2
AGAVACEAE: Agave Family

  • Yucca:

    • Flower annually

    • Mostly pollinated by yucca moth

Soaptree Yucca (Yucca elata)


Agavaceae agave family3
AGAVACEAE: Agave Family

  • Yucca:

    • Mostly pollinated by yucca moth

http://waynesword.palomar.edu/ww0902a.htm


Fabaceae legume family
FABACEAE: Legume Family

  • Add nitrogen to soil (mutualistic relationship with nitrogen fixing bacteria)

  • Act as nurse plants (providing shelter from freezing temperatures, intense sunlight, trampling, etc. to other plants.


Fabaceae legume family1
FABACEAE: Legume Family

  • Includes most of our trees in the Sonoran Desert: Acacias, Mesquites, Paloverdes, and Ironwood.