|The Cactus Patch
NEWSLETTER OF THE
May 2004 Number 5
"Cactus" is an ancient Greek term for a spiny plant. When first used it
referred to cardoon, the artichoke. Wild artichokes have stout spines on
the edible bracts. Cultivated artichoke varieties have lost those spines.
The word was adopted to refer to what we now know as cacti when the first plants were brought back to Europe by the early explorers. Now it "only" refers to the members of the cactus family (Cactaceae).
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