Cephalocereus senilis – the Old Man Cactus

This sample was taken type of cactus called the Old Man Opuntia Cactus, which is a furry, slender cactus. Its name comes from the fact that the shaggy coat of long white hairs on the cactus resembles that of an old man.  I collected the sample at the Arizona Garden on campus, which has a variety of species of cactus, but chose this species because its thin furry spikes seemed like it would work well under the foldscope. In order to take a sample of the cactus, I took a small knife and cut off one of the spots where the hairy spikes grow so that the sample included both the cactus plant and the spikes. These spikes serve to protect the plant from frost and sun.  It was interesting to see both the spikes and the base that they were growing from up close because the hairs seemed a lot more interconnected and detailed. I also enjoyed the beauty of the plant from up close, especially the contrast within the picture I took. 


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