Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus 
Opuntia humifusa


Opuntia humifusa contains chloroplasts which enable it to undergo photosynthesis to produce energy. (Click here to learn about another photosynthetic plant-The Sunflower) In addition to photosynthesis, this plant also absorbs nutrients through its root system. Water and nutrients are absorbed by the roots and distributed throughout the plant via the plants extensive vascular system/tissues. Water and minerals are transported through the plant by the xylem and nutrients such as glucose are transported through the plant by the phloem. The xylem and phloem are two of the main vascular tissues in this plant. The prickly pear also possesses stomata, which regulate the flow of gasses and water into and out of the plant. Nutrients are stored in the cactus in the form of glucose and this plant also has a high capacity for water storage due to the fact that it grows best in arid environments. Read more about this under adaptations.