A cactus (plural: cacti, cactuses, or cactus) is a member of the plant family Cactaceae, within the order Caryophyllales. The word cactus derives, through Latin, from the Ancient Greek (kaktos), a name originally used for a spiny plant whose identity is not certain. In botany, succulent plants, also known as succulents or sometimes fat plants, are plants having some parts that are more than normally thickened and fleshy, usually to retain water in arid climates or soil conditions. Succulent plants may store water in various structures, such as leaves and stems. Some definitions also include roots, so that geophytes that survive unfavourable periods by dying back to underground storage organs may be regarded as succulents. In horticultural use, the term "succulent" is often used in a way which excludes plants that botanists would regard as succulents, such as cacti. Succulents are grown as ornamental plants because of their striking and unusual appearance.
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