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These pages describe and illustrate the plants of West and Southwest USA, with information about habitat, range, size and flower type.
Plants of West and Southwest USA
Agave and Yucca
The main distinguishing features are that yucca have leaves which are narrower, thinner, less tapering, do not have spines along the edges but often bear thin, curly white hairs instead. Agave leaves are generally wider, thicker, more tapering, are often edged by spines but do not have thin hairs. Also in the Southwest are several similar rosette-forming desert species including sotol and nolina.
Major species include Cereus, most visibly the saguaro and organ pipe, the Echinocereus or hedgehog cacti, Ferocactus, which are large, heavy spined barrel cacti, Mammillaria, small plants, usually forming clusters, and Opuntia, branched, joined cacti, usually densely spined.
Color is the most obvious characteristic, and flowers can be divided into Blue, Brown, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, White and Yellow.
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