9 Types of Poisonous Cactus

Poisonous Cactus. Cacti can either be very helpful companions or very dangerous foes to people. What kind of cactus you own or hang out with makes all the difference.
It’s crucial to know which cacti are safe to keep around and which ones could potentially cause harm.

In this group of nine cacti, there is a total of 25 times as much poison as there would be in a single plant, so keep them well away from curious kids and pets.

Cacti have sharp spines on its leaves, which can be deadly for some persons. The poisonous cactus listed below, should be kept out of the reach of both kids and animals.

Are Cactus Poisonous to Cats / Pets?

In general cacti are not poisonous to pets. This question often arises because many cactus lovers generally have cat / pets in their homes. Cacti have sharp spines, there are some types of cacti that can cause irritation to your pet’s skin, irritation occurs when your animal is pricked by the cactus spines. Or if your pet accidentally swallows the cactus thorn then it will be dangerous.

For this reason, if you have a pet such as a cat that likes to dig the ground around cactus plants, we recommend keeping it away, then you have to be more careful so that your animal is not exposed to cactus thorns.

In addition to cacti having sharp spines, some types of cacti have poisonous fruit as well, prickly pear fruit is a type of cactus that has poisonous fruit. If your animal accidentally eats it, there will be bad consequences.

One of the effects of eating prickly pear fruit is that your animal will vomit blood and even worse, it can cause sudden death. This happens because of the very high level of poison in prickly pear fruit.

Are Cacti Poisonous to Humans?

Humans generally don’t get poison from cacti, unless you accidentally eat the fruit, then it’s a different story. You can get an upset stomach and also get diarrhea. Cactus needles can cause allergies in some people who are sensitive to the spines, stay away from cactus spines if you have sensitive skin!!!

Are cactus spines poisonous?

The answer is no, in general cactus spines do not cause poisoning. However, it should be noted that there are several types of cactus spines that contain toxins such as Cactus Cholla which has hair-like spines. If you are exposed to the spines of this cactus, and the spines enter the body tissue, it can cause swelling, bleeding and even worse it can cause tissue damage to the body.

Looking at the leaves of cacti you will notice that many have spines. This is a modification that can be found on most cacti. thorns make cacti look elegant and persuasive. These spines are usually found on the outside of the cactus, and can be sharp or soft. The spine helps keep these animals safe from predators by causing pain when touched.

There are many different types of cactus spines, including hairy ones and those with glochids. Glochids (pronounced GLAW-kid) look like small, long, spiny hairs that cover many types of plants in dry climates. Including prickly pear pads and other desert plants.

If you touch them, they will cause irritation because their spines are very strong against flesh and will come off easily without tearing any tissue. The bristles are similar to glochids, but they are less sharp and do not cause irritation.

Some cactus species, such the saguaro and the hedgehog, have spines that are mistakenly thought to be as harmful as needles. This is not always the case, however, with the vast majority of other cactus species.

Pads from a prickly pear are edible because they have soft bristles rather than spines. Even while cactus spines don’t contain any chemicals or poisons, they nevertheless need to be handled with care since they might irritate the skin.

Is cactus water poisonous?

The answer is YES, the water contained in cacti is poisonous to humans. Why cactus water poisonous? because most cactus species store acids and alkaloids in order to protect their flesh and sponges, in addition to these two types of substances there are also substances commonly called saponins, if we accidentally swallow it will cause diarrhea and vomiting.

Although the effects caused by consuming cactus water are not too dangerous, we always recommend not to consume it, especially if you are pregnant.

What is the most poisonous type of cactus?

The following are some types of cactus plants that are poisonous cactus. Including, Prickly pear, Peyote (Lophophora Williamsii), San Pedro Cactus (Echinopsis Pachanoi), Barrel cactus, Saguaro cactus, Cholla cactus, The Peruvian Torch Cactus (Echinopsis Peruviana), Bolivian Torch Cactus (Echinopsis lageniformis or Achuma) and the Canary Islands Cactus (Euphorbia Canariensis).

Poisonous Cactus Prickly Pear

This information based on USDA.GOV NRCS
Symbol:OPUNT
Group:Dicot
Duration:Perennial
Growth Habit:- Shrub
- Subshrub
- Tree
Native Status:CAN N
HI I
L48 I,N
NAV N
PB I
PR I,N
VI I,N
Other Common Names:Cholla
Kingdom:Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom:Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision:Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division:Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class:Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Subclass:Caryophyllidae
Order:Caryophyllales
Family:Cactaceae Juss. - Cactus family
Genus:Opuntia Mill. - pricklypear

Poisonous Cactus Prickly Pear cactus

The prickly pear, or Opuntia, is a kind of cactus in the family Cactaceae. Parts of this cactus are distinctly paddle-shaped. It can also produce fruits that can be eaten.

These symptoms may also be brought on by this plant. However, individual responses may vary. Constipation can occur with excessive usage. This plant’s spines pose a threat not only to people but also to their pets.

Poisonous Cactus Peyote Cactus (Lophophora Williamsii)

This information based on USDA.GOV NRCS
Symbol:LOWI
Group:Dicot
Duration:Perennial
Growth Habit:Shrub
Native Status:L48 N
Kingdom:Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom:Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision:Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division:Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class:Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Subclass:Caryophyllidae
Order:Caryophyllales
Family:Cactaceae Juss. - Cactus family
Genus:Lophophora J.M. Coult. - lophophora
Species:Lophophora williamsii (Lem. ex Salm-Dyck) J.M. Coult. - peyote
Poison / Toxic Type:Psychoactive
Poison Contain:Phenethylamine Alkaloids - Mescaline
Poisonous to:- Human
- Cats
- Dog
- Pets
Poison / Toxic Effect:- This type of poison / toxic attacks the nervous system. And can cause changes in perception, cognition or behavior, consciousness, and can also cause mood swings.

Poisonous Cactus Peyote Cactus (Lophophora Williamsii)

The peyote cactus is one of the Poisonous Cactus, is a tiny member of the cactus family Cactaceae. This kind of cactus is native to both Mexico and Texas. This slow-growing succulent doesn’t have spines and has a limited growth rate.

When ingested, this plant produces a psychotropic high. Extreme quantities of it may be dangerous. If you have dogs or kids, keep them away from this cactus. After two hours, you’ll feel the effects of this type of cacti. Cactus poison symptoms, This type of poison / toxic attacks the nervous system. And can cause changes in perception, cognition or behavior, consciousness, and can also cause mood swings.

Poisonous Cactus San Pedro Cactus (Echinopsis Pachanoi)

This information based on wikipedia.org
Kingdom:Plantae
Clade:- Tracheophytes
- Angiosperms
- Eudicots
Order:Caryophyllales
Family:Cactaceae
Subfamily:Cactoideae
Genus:Echinopsis
Species:E. pachanoi
Binomial name:Echinopsis pachanoi. (Britton and Rose) Friedrich and Rowle
Poison / Toxic Type:Psychoactive
Poison Contain:Alkaloid Mescaline
Poisonous to:- Human
- Cats
- Dog
- Pets
Poison / Toxic Effect:- Acute nausea.
- Vomiting.
- Increased heart rate.
- Dilation of the pupils of the eyes.
- Headache.
- Increased body temperature.
- Impaired motor coordination.

Poisonous Cactus San Pedro Cactus (Echinopsis Pachanoi)

San Pedro cactus or often referred to as Echinopsis pachanoi is one of the Poisonous Cactus, is one type of cactus that belongs to the Cactaceae cactus family. This cacti can be one type of plant that can grow quickly, and can rise as high as 20 feet.

This cactus is one type of cactus plant that is very poisonous. The toxic content contained in this type of cactus is psychedelic hallucinogen, mescaline. Both types of poison have a very high concentration. In some cases or in some countries the substance contained in this cactus is an illegal substance.

Poisonous Cactus The Peruvian Torch (Echinopsis Peruviana) Cactus

This information based on wikipedia.org and pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
Kingdom:Plantae
Clade:- Tracheophytes
- Angiosperms
- Eudicots
Order:Caryophyllales
Family:Cactaceae
Subfamily:Cactoideae
Genus:Echinopsis
Species:E. peruviana
Binomial name:Echinopsis peruviana (Britton & Rose) Friedrich & G.D.Rowley
SynonymsTrichocereus peruvianus Britton & Rose
Poison / Toxic Type:Psychoactive alkaloids
Poison Contain:Phenethylamine Alkaloids - Mescaline
Dimethoxyphenethylamine
Poisonous to:- Human
- Cats
- Dog
- Pets
Poison / Toxic Effect:- This type of poison / toxic attacks the nervous system. And can cause changes in perception, cognition or behavior, consciousness, and can also cause mood swings.

Poisonous Cactus The Peruvian Torch (Echinopsis Peruviana) Cactus

The Echinopsis peruviana cactus species is one of the Poisonous Cactus, more popularly known as the Peruvian torch cactus, is a member of the cactus family known as Cactaceae. This plant’s stems are erect and quite tall, and it produces flowers that are pure white.

This type of cactus has a very high level of mescaline content, even higher than the peyote species. With the content of crystalline mescaline hydrochloride and also the content of 3,4-dimethoxyphenethylamine, this type of cactus must be strictly controlled. Because legally the substance contained in it can be used for drugs.

Even in some countries the Peruvian Torch (Echinopsis Peruviana) Cactus is included in illegal plants, such as Australia, Brazil, Denmark, India, Ireland, Norway, New Zealand, Switzerland, Romania, Russia and France. For the United States itself imposes strict regulations, only allowed for certain needs.

Because it contains a considerable quantity of mescaline, this cactus is capable of inducing hallucinations. It is in everyone’s best interest to keep this cactus out of the reach of both children and animals.

Poisonous Cactus Barrel Cactus

Poisonous Cactus Golden Barrel Cactus Echinocactus grusonii

Barrel cactus is one of the Poisonous Cactus, is a unique type of cactus because it has a barrel-like shape. This cactus belongs to the cactaceae family and is endemic to North and South America.  Ferocactus and Echinocactus are common cacti in North America and have large stalks.

There are many types of barrel cactus, including Astrophytum, Echinopsis, Neolloydia, Sclerocactus, and Thelocactus.

There are six specimens of Echinocactus which is native to Mexico. This plant can grow to a height of 60 cm (2 feet), is round in shape and has a diameter of about 30 cm.

Barrel cactus has a toxic sap that can cause skin irritation. the thorns on this cactus are also dangerous for children and pets, somake sure you keep it out of their reach.

Poisonous Cactus The Saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) Cactus

Poisonous Cactus The Saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) Cactus

The Saguaro Cactus is a type of cactus that can survive in deserts without water.

In generalmany plants will die immediately if they don’t get enough waterbut this is not the case for the saguaro cactus.

Saguaro cactus has a waxy coating on the outsidesothis can reduce the evaporation of water that occursThe skin of this cactus is very toughwhich adds to its ability to survive in the desert.

Saguaro cactus does not have any harmful toxinsbut it does have longsharp spines that are dangerous for children and petsThereforekeep this cactus out of their reach.

Poisonous Cactus Canary Islands (Euphorbia Canariensis) Cactus

This information based on wikipedia.org
Kingdom:Plantae
Clade:- Tracheophytes
- Angiosperms
- Eudicots
- Rosids

Order:Malpighiales
Family:Euphorbiaceae
Genus:Euphorbia
Species:E. canariensis
Binomial nameEuphorbia canariensis
L.
Synonyms- Euphorbia canariensis - Forssk.
- Euphorbia canariensis - Thunb.
- Euphorbia canariensis - Tremaut.
- Tithymalus quadrangularis - Kigg.
Poison / Toxic Type:Cycasin
Poisonous to:- Human
- Cats
- Dog
- Pets
Poison / Toxic Effect:Diarrhea, leas, vomiting, hepatotoxicity and convulsions.

Poisonous Cactus Canary Islands (Euphorbia Canariensis) Cactus

Canary Islands (Euphorbia Canariensis) Cactus is one of the poisonous cactus in the cactus spesies. The content of the latex in this plant contains diterpenes which are toxic materials.

It is a cactus-like species found in the canary islands, but for euphorbia handiensis it only grows on the jandia peninsula or south of Fuerteventura. Both cacti have similar names but make no mistake, these cacti are not closely related.

The flowering plant family Euphorbiaceae includes the cactus species Euphorbia canariensis, also known as the Canary Island Spurge.

The stems of this cactus are long and straightand they may grow to a height of three meters.

The majority of euphorbia plants secrete a sap that is high in cycasin contentCycasin is the toxin that is responsible for producing gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea and discomfort.

The symptoms of poisoning that occur as a result of Cycasin are: diarrhea, leas, vomiting hepototoxicity and convulsions. When it occurs in the body’s metabolism, cycasin will be hydrolyzed into glucose and methylazoxymethanol (MAM) and then dissociated into diazomethane and formaldehyde.

Poisonous Cactus Bolivian Torch Cactus (Echinopsis lageniformis or Achuma)

This information based on wikipedia.org and pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Kingdom:Plantae
Clade:Tracheophytes
Angiosperms
Eudicots
Order:Caryophyllales
Family:Cactaceae
Subfamily:Cactoideae
Genus:Echinopsis
Species:E. lageniformis
Binomial name:Echinopsis lageniformis
(Förster) H.Friedrich & Glaetzle
Synonyms:Trichocereus bridgesii Britton & Rose
Poison / Toxic Type:Psychoactive alkaloids
Poison Contain:Phenethylamine Alkaloids - Mescaline
Poisonous to:- Human
- Cats
- Dog
- Pets
Poison / Toxic Effect:- This type of poison / toxic attacks the nervous system. And can cause changes in perception, cognition or behavior, consciousness, and can also cause mood swings.

Poisonous Cactus Bolivian Torch Cactus (Echinopsis lageniformis or Achuma)

Bolivian torch cactus is a type of cactus that contains poison. The toxins contained in this cactus are psychoactive alkaloids, but the concentration of toxins contained in psychoactive alkaloids varies depending on the location where it lives. So you should always be careful when close to this Bolivian torch cactus.

The characteristics of Bolivian torch cactus are, can grow up to 5 meters in height and branches that can reach a height of 20cm. It is green in color and usually has as many as eight branches.

Just like peruvian torch cactus, this type of cactus included in illegal plants in some country, such as Australia, Brazil, Denmark, India, Ireland, Norway, New Zealand, Switzerland, Romania, Russia and France. For the United States itself imposes strict regulations, only allowed for certain needs.

Poisonous Cactus Cholla cactus

Poisonous Cactus Cholla cactus

Cholla cactus is one of 20 cactus species of the genus Opuntia found in the deserts of North America. This cactus is able to grow tall, but in general they do not grow flat, this is influenced by the environmental conditions they live in.

During the summer you will find them in flower, with beautiful small and bright flowers that will make you love them even more.

But you have to be careful because these cacti have spines that contain toxins that can be harmful to your children and pets. if you are exposed to toxins from these cacti, a common symptom is stomach problems for you and your pets.

You can refer to the following this link to learn more about endemic / native status plant codes.

Are cactus safe to eat?

One special kind of plant that may be used as food is the succulent cactus. Eating cacti is generally safe because they are edible plants. However, it’s necessary to exercise caution because certain cacti may appear to be toxic.

We simply consume the fruit, which is a nutritious food. Many individuals believe that cactus are bad because they contain toxic materials. Cacti, however, are full of healthy minerals.

Cactus fruits and pads are good sources of nutrition since they are rich in vitamins and fiber. It’s vital to remember that just the edible parts of the cactus should be consumed. Some varieties could have thorns or dangerous substances.

The fruit, leaves, and pods of the plant are a few mouthwatering and nutrient-dense components.

Does cactus fruit contain poison?

For those of us who know many cacti have fruit and the fruit looks attractive.

The fruits of cacti generally do not contain poison. Cactus fruit has a lot of sugar and water which is usually eaten by birds.

Have you ever heard of Prickly Pear cactus or Indian Figs? these two types of cactus can be eaten and do not contain poison. with a fleshy and thick texture reminds us of fruit such as apples or melons.

Prickly Pear Fruit

Prickly Pear is a common and popular fruit in Mexico that we can eat the fruit, because the Prickly Pear cactus fruit does not contain poison. How to eat it is also easy, namely by peeling the skin then we take the meat. We will find the yellow flesh.

Dragon Fruit (White Fleshed Pitahaya)

For those of you who live in tropical climates, it seems familiar with this type of dragon fruit plant. With a beautiful appearance and oval round shape and has yellow, red or orange colors that are interesting to see.

Dragon fruit has a good taste, slightly sour and dominated by sweetness. Inside the flesh there are many black seeds, but you don’t need to worry because these seeds can be eaten and contain no poison at all.

Barrel cactus fruit

Barrel cactus fruit does not contain poison, this fruit is round and has yellow skin accompanied by sharp white spines.

If you imagine how it tastes, you can imagine that the fruit has a combination of sour and sweet flavors like watermelon or orange or pineapple, this variety of flavors depends on the type of barrel cactus you eat.

Saguaro cactus fruit

Saguaro fruit is non-toxic, with a distinctive flavor like that of apples and apricots. You can enjoy this cactus without worrying about poisoning.

Cereus Peruvianus fruit

Cereus Peruvianus fruit does not contain poison, on the contrary, the fruit of Cereus Peruvianus can be used to treat arthritis and kidney disease. Use for this medicine has been done for centuries. besides this cactus can be used to relieve inflammation, this is because the Cereus Peruvianus cactus has sterol (beta-sitosterol) levels.

Can Cactus be toxic to cats and other pets?

In this section we will discuss whether cactus can cause poisoning for cats and other types of pets. Cactus is famous for its many thorns on the leaves or on the stem.

For this reason, many veterinarians recommend that we always be careful and keep an eye on our beloved pets to stay in a safe place and away from cacti.

If a cactus thorn injures your pet, then this will cause injuries that can be dangerous. Not only for pets, cactus spines can also be dangerous for humans, especially the spines at the base of the cactus which can be very hard and sharp.

There are several types of cacti that are dangerous and poisonous due to the toxins they contain. One type of cactus that is poisonous and should not be exposed to any animal is Opuntia ficus-indica (Prickly Pear).

In addition to this type of cactus, there are also cacti that contain dangerous toxins including: Euphorbia Tirucalli (Spurge) – this type of cactus is found in North America. Ferocactus Wislizenii – this type is commonly found in South Africa.

Which Common Non Poisonous Cactus to Pets?

Bellow are some types of cactus didn’t contain toxic or poison to pets.

Christmas Cacti

Christmas cactus is one of the most popular plants that we can enjoy all year round. This cactus has a beautiful shape and green color combined with the red color of this flower adds to its beauty.

Are christmas cactus poisonous to cats?

Zygo Cactus Red (Christmas Cactus) 2

Christmas cactus is not harmful to your cat. so you can rest easy if you have a cat and also have a christmas cactus.

Are christmas cactus poisonous to dogs?

Christmas cactus is not harmful to your dog. so you can rest easy if you have a dog and also have a christmas cactus.

Opuntia cactus

Opuntia cacti are generally harmless to your pet. This plant, which is native to North America, is a perennial. Characterized by tall plants that rise up to 12 inches high, this shape is what makes this type of cactus different from other types of cacti from its genus such as Mammillaria cactus and Nopalea Cholla.

Thimble Cactus

The thimble cactus is safe for your animals because not contain Poisonous Cacti but you should pay attention to its thorns. The Thimble Cactus is a plant that grows up to 12 inches tall and is the only plant that can get that tall in its genus.

Hylocereus Undated

Hylocereus Undated ong of the not contain Poisonous Cactus and is safe for your animals. With very beautiful flowers and also has a fragrant smell that is suitable for your plants. Hylocereus Undated is a plant that flowers at night and blooms at night, this adds to the beauty of your night of course.

Can cacti cause allergies?

The answer is yes, but what you need to pay attention to is the main cause. Because in general, people who are allergic to cacti also have a tendency to be allergic to other types of plants. common allergies are caused by pollen that is inhaled by your nose, this allergy can also occur in your pet. this happens if you have cacti planted in the house. so make sure you protect it.

Conclusion of Poisonous Cactus

With the explanation and description we made above, we can conclude that the most is one of the Poisonous Cactus and dangerous cacti for your pets and children are: Cholla, Peyote, Prickly pear, Barrel cactus and Bolivian Torch Cactus (Echinopsis lageniformis or Achuma). So make sure you always keep your children and pets out of reach of these poisonous cacti. Stay safe.

Please note / Disclaimer: I am not a medical expert or veterinarian, all the information we write and present here is only for sharing based on what the author knows so far. For this reason, we recommend that you always consult the expert directly (medical doctor or veterinarian). We disclaim all responsibility for anything including: poisoning, accidents and the like that we write about on this blog.

If you have problem with succulent growing long stem, you can read here to resolve these issue.

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