Costa Rica Cactus Garden
Costa Rica tropical plants and gardens
Cactus Collection: Here you’ll find a mount made of stone, gravel and earth especially designed to house some 150 plants that represent 30 species of cactus. These species serve as examples of the 14 genus and 36 species of cacti in Costa Rica. In this area there are explanations covering all the general information and characteristics of these interesting plants. These plants have adapted to many types of climates, and because of this they have been able to survive in some of the harshest areas in the world, such as deserts. They also share other habitats, including humid areas. This illustrates that our associations of cacti with deserts and sand aren’t always true. These plants have developed survival strategies that include having thorns instead of leaves, converting these in true symbols of the world’s driest areas.
Cactuses are perennial and grow as trees, shrubs, or vines. Most cactus’s have spiky spines so predators don’t hurt them. Most species are terrestrial, but there are also many epiphytic species, especially in the tribes Rhipsalideae and Hylocereeae. The cactus family is endemic to the Americas with one exception, Rhipsalis baccifera; this species has a pantropical distribution, occurring in the Old World tropical Africa, Madagascar and Sri Lanka as well as in tropical America. This plant is thought to be a relatively recent colonist in the Old World (within the last few thousand years), probably carried as seeds in the digestive tracts of migratory birds. Many other cacti have become naturalized to similar environments in other parts of the world after being introduced by people, e.g. Australia, Hawaii, and the Mediterranean region. The Tehuacán Valley of Mexico has one of the richest occurrences of cacti in the world. Species diversity decreases as one travels north; hundreds of species can be found in areas of Mexico, dozens of species are found in the Sonora and Mojave deserts of the southwestern U.S., and only several species are found in the eastern plains and dry valleys of Montana and Alberta.