Cactus, from a Greek word for a prickly plant. Herbs or shrubs, frequently succulent particularly when leaves are absent or much reduced such as the fine spines or glochids in Opuntia; in some species the leaves only are succulent. Latex rarely present. Flowers often showy; perianth parts frequently numerous; stamens 15-100. Ovary usually inferior; fruit usually fleshy. A number have edible fruits as in the prickly pear and pitaya.