Are cacti actually succulents?

I’ve heard many people say “I like succulents, not cacti”. They don’t realize that they are actually saying they do like cacti! I’ve seen people get in arguments over this topic, which is really quite silly! Let me break this down for you, because I myself was quite confused a while ago with the definition of these plants. Plus it’s always nice to be correct when you’re in a silly argument, right?Succulents are plants that store water in their stems, roots and leaves. There over 25 different families with succulents. A few have 500-2000 different succulents in their family! Some popular ones are aloe, sedum, haworthia, and even cacti! Cacti store water, making them part of the succulent group.


In order for a succulent to be considered a cacti, the plant must have areoles, which are small, round, cushion-like mounds where the plant grows spines, hair, leaves or flowers. Not all succulents have areoles, JUST cacti. Succulents can have spines or teeth (like some aloes), but if they do not have the areoles, they are not cacti!  

So remember, all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti!