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Austrocylindropuntia floccosa

Cactacea with a really peculiar look, impossible to be confused: it has short cylindrical or almost globose segments that grow on top of each other but do not reach remarkable heights. Instead, it tends to develop horizontally, giving life in a short time to cushions that cover over 60 cm wide! Along the stem it has dark green leaves, shaped like an awl, almost similar to thorns. The main feature that distinguishes it, consists in its white glochids, very long, soft and hairy, tangled up to create a tortuous tuft similar to wool (hence the name, floccosa, which in Latin literally means "full of woolly tufts"). Perhaps not many people know that these glochids have a fundamental function in nature, as they allow A. floccosa to protect itself from frost and also from the sun, making it an extremely resistant plant. In the midst of the whiteness of the hair, unexpectedly beautiful orange-yellow flowers bloom very lively, which create a pleasant contrast with the delicate appearance of the cactus.