You’ve probably heard the words cacti and succulents thrown around interchangeably. However, this is a common misconception. Technically, all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. Cacti are simply one of the many types of succulents.
Succulents are defined by their water retaining cells. Which is one of our favorite things about them because it’s what makes them so low maintenance and drought tolerant.
Another common misconception is that cacti are defined by their prickly needles. Many succulents have spikes similar to cacti, and not all cacti are prickly.
If you’re looking specifically for a cactus, the determining factor is called an areole. They are small, cotton-like lumps on a cactus where the spines grow out of. All cacti have areoles, making it easy to distinguish them from other prickly succulents.