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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Friday - February 25, 2005

From: London, Other
Region: Select Region
Topic: Cacti and Succulents
Title: How do cacti stay in ground
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

How do cacti stay in ground? I know that flowers stay in the ground by their roots but what about cacti?

ANSWER:

Cactus have roots, too. Some have shallow spreading root systems and some have large tap roots or a cluster of tubers. An old night-blooming cereus (Peniocereus greggii) can have a very large tap root weighing as much as 100 pounds. to read more about cactus, you can visit the Cactus Museum web page. The cacti use their shallow roots to absorb water when it rains, but many of these roots may die when it becomes dry. Read about How Cactus Survive in the Desert.
 

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