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Beautiful Vintage Cactus Paintings to Download

These gorgeous cactus paintings and illustrations were all painted in the 18th and 19th Century. They were painted by various botanical artists.

Botanical art is designed so that the paintings are scientifically and botanically accurate but also artistically pleasing to the eye. I’ve selected only a fraction of the many 100’s vintage cactus paintings produced by the botanists of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Hopefully, you will agree that I have picked some of the best and most aesthetically appealing vintage cacti artwork. Many of the cacti have been painted whilst in flower. This only adds to their aesthetic appeal.

Christmas cacti can be found in this collection of vintage Christmas flower prints.

Cacti are a very popular houseplant at the moment. Part of the appeal is their low maintenance. However, their maintenance is still not low enough for my black thumbs. I’ve decided that I’m better off with a gallery wall display of vintage cacti paintings rather than the real thing!

If you are looking for interesting ways to hang your gallery walls check out this article on house&garden.

Fun Facts About Cacti

  • Cacti or cactuses are both acceptable to use as the plural of cactus.
  • The name is Greek in origin and was originally used to describe a spiny plant.
  • There are over 1750 known species of cacti.
  • Cacti come in all sorts of sizes, shapes and even colours.
  • The tallest saguaro cactus ever recorded was over 78 feet tall.
  • Cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. They are succulent plants as they store water in their stems, roots, and spines.
  • Even though a few species live in humid environments, the majority of cacti live in very dry conditions.  They are even found in the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth.
  • The plants can hold a lot of water in the stem. They have shallow roots spread over a wide area to quickly absorb any rainwater.
  • The waxy skin of the plant also helps it retain water.
  • Cactus have spines instead of leaves.  Not only do the spines protect the plants from being eaten, but they also reduce water loss from the plant by inhibiting airflow.
  • Cactus can live from 10 to over 200 years.
  • Cactus are grown as ornamental plants and as security fences. The spines act as a great defence.
  • Some species of cacti are grown for their edible fruit, such as the prickly pear.
Free vintage cactus paintings

The Vintage Botanical Cactus Paintings & Illustrations

To download the cactus botanical illustration that you want click on the title above that image. A higher resolution picture will open in a new browser window. If you click on that image you will be able to save and print it.

1. Various Cacti – 1892

This cacti identification poster is from the German encyclopaedia Brockhaus’ Konversations-Lexikon.

The cacti illustrations on the poster are numbered and their corresponding scientific names are listed below:

  1. Napalea coccinellifera
  2. Cephalocereus senilis
  3. Cereus giganteus
  4. Mammillaria longimamma
  5. Rhipsalis paradoxa
  6. Echinocactus longihamatus
  7. Echinopsis oxygona
  8. Cereus grandiflorus
  9. Echinocereus pectinatus
  10. Leuchtenbergia principis
  11. Phyllocactus ackermanni
  12. Melocactus communis
Various_Cactaceae 1892

The next six cacti paintings are from the book, “The Cactaceae : descriptions and illustrations of plants of the cactus family“, by N.L. Britton and J.N. Rose (1919).

2. Flowering Prickly Pear Cactus

This is a lovely illustration by the English botanical artist Mary Emily Eaton of a flowering prickly pear cactus. (Opuntia fuscoatra). Painted for the above book.

Also known as the Indian fig, this is the most common commercially grown cactus plant. It is grown primarily as a fruit crop.

Flowering prickly pear cactus

3. Pink Flowering Cacti

Another lovely illustration by the English botanical artist Mary Emily Eaton this time of ribbed (Echinocereus) cacti.

Pink Flowering cacti -

4. Opuntia auberi

This cactus plant is native to Central America.

Opuntia auberi The_Cactaceae

5. Various Cephalocereus Cacti

Cephalocereus is a genus of slow-growing, columnar-shaped, blue-green cacti. The genus is native to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America.

Various vintage cactus paintings

6. Various Species of Prickly Pear Cacti

Botanical Illustrations of various prickly pear cacti

7. Various Fruiting Cacti

Various fruiting cacti

8. Yellow Round Flowering Cacti – 1841

This yellow flowering round cactus (Echinocacti Sallowianus) was painted by the French botanist Charles Lemaire.

There is a wonderful collection of Charles Lemaire’s famous orchid prints on the blog.

Yellow flowering cactus Charles Lemaire

9. Assorted cacti 1908

This is a great collection of assorted cacti, including:

  • 1. Leaf-cactus (Phyllocactus anguliger).
  • 2. Stapelia (simulating a cactus).
  • 3. A Cereus (Cereus dasycanthus).
  • 4. Globe-cactus (Echinocactus horizonthalonius).
  • 5. Wart-cactus (Mammilaria pectinata).
  • 6. Hair Opuntia (Opuntia filipendtila)—a. theblossom, enlarged.
  • 7. Melon-cactus (Melocactus communis).
  • 8. Giant Cactus (Cereus giganteus)
  • 9. Mexican Opuntia (Opuntia coccinellifera), the fruit (prickly pear), enlarged. CACTUS.
Assorted cacti illustrations

10. Flowering Peanut Cactus -1912

This lovely flowering Peanut Cactus botanical illustration was from the Curtis Botanical Magazine, 1912.

Flowering peanut cactus

11. Pink Flowering Cacti -1849

This pink flowering cacti was featured in Dictionnaire Universel D’histoire Naturelle.

You will find some gorgeous vintage animal prints from the same book here.

Pink flowering cactus painting

12. Cactus watercolour 1828

This is a lovely cactus watercolor painting by the German botanist David Nathaniel Friedrich Dietrich. (Euphorbia officinarum)

Vintage cactus watercolour painting

13. Ornamental White Flowering Cactus 1820’s

Edwards'_botanical_register,_white flowering cacti_(1829-1847)

14. Flowering Cactus – Curtis Botanical 1852

Another lovely vintage cactus print from the magazine Curtis Botanical 1852. (Echinopsis obrepanda)

vintage flowering cactus

15. Pink Flowering Cacti 1813

This cactus painting is by Belgium Botanist Pierre Joseph Redouté. Redoute is more famous for his paintings of lilies and roses but obviously found time to paint the odd cacti too. (cactus speciosus)

Redoute cactus print

16. Coryphantha erecta

Another vintage cactus painting by Charles Lemaire, (1841).

Vintage cactus painting by Charles Lemaire

17. Fuchsia Flowering Cactus

Another botanical illustration from Curtis’s Botanical Magazine.

Flowering cactus vintage illustration

18. Sword Pear Cactus

There is a miniature cultivated variety of this cactus, known as the fairy castle cactus. This cactus print is from the book “Flore pittoresque et médicale des Antilles“, (1829).

Sword Pear Cactus

Cactus Art Paintings

19. Georg Scholz, Kakteen und Semaphore, 1923

A still life painting of potted cacti on a table by the German realist painter Georg Scholz.

Still life of potted cacti Georg Scholz

20. Cactus Garden

A postcard of a cactus garden in California.

Postcard of a cactus garden

21. Etching of Arizona Cacti

George Elbert Burr’s 1930’s etching, titled as Desert Sentinels, Apache Trail, Arizona.

"George Elbert Burr, Desert Sentinels, Apache Trail, Arizona,

Print 22: Epiphyllum sp Cereus

This flowering cactus, succulent hybrid is from the collection of Flower Garden prints by Joseph Paxton.


There is a lovely cactus print in the Temple of Flora.

You might want to check out these other free printable botanical images on
Beautiful Vintage Flowers

Giant water lily illustrations
Antique Watercolour Fruit Images
Woodland Vintage Botanical Prints

Cool cactus paintings and illustraions

If you fancy, you can Buy Me A Coffee Here.

Dana Lane

Thursday 18th of May 2023

Claire, in your first bullet point on facts about cacti, I think you mean "acceptable" rather than "expectable". The images are gorgeous! Thank you!


Saturday 20th of May 2023

Thank you, and thanks for the catch. Now updated.

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Monday 1st of October 2018

I absolutely love these beautiful vintage prints! I live in Arizona and we have several cacti in our front yard. It's always breathtaking when they are in bloom!


Monday 1st of October 2018

I’d love to see the cacti in Arizona one day especially the giant ones.


Saturday 29th of September 2018

These are beautiful, Claire! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm! Pinned!


Sunday 30th of September 2018

Thank you so much, Cecilia.