I’ve never named a plant before. If you asked me about my thoughts on naming plants prior to compiling this list, I would have told you that while I’d likely never take the time to name many, I could still see myself naming a really well-loved favourite or two.
But the internet’s won me over. There are just too many quirky-cute, pun-based cactus names out there (aside from the actual cactus puns) that you can name your “pet” cactus for me to resist admitting to the fact that I kind of want to use all my favourites.
I now feel it’s almost my duty to create a mini cactus collection from my larger collection, labelling them with witty names instead of their actual scientific ones.
Imagine the fun of watching a house guest come in for a closer look, trying to learn the scientific name of that hairy cactus in the corner (cephalocereus senilis or “Peruvian Old Lady Cactus”) – only to discover a pet name like “Furry” on the label instead.
Then beside this oddly labelled plant, many more quirky names – “Needles” and “Spike” – instead of “Saguaro” and “Prickly Pear“. Yup, you may think it’s sad, but this is without a doubt my idea of a good time. (Or not so sad, depending on if you love puns as much as I do).
When it comes to naming plants, whether a cactus or any other type of plant, I do feel it’s almost necessary to make sure the name’s funny. If it doesn’t bring a smile to your face, why bother giving the plant a name?
Obviously, the humour can be subtle, an inside joke only roommates share, even something only you would understand or happen to find funny. Naming a really thorny cactus after a much-hated high school teacher, for instance?
Super amusing, even if it’s only entertaining to you. So long as you’re smiling, in my books – that’s all that matters.
There are so many ways you can go with funny, quirky, or stupid cute as your criteria, however. So many. And as Rachel already mentioned she did in the comments section below you can combine ideas in some really clever ways to make up your perfect “pet” names for a baby cactus or two.
But I’ve delayed enough. Let me get into all the fun names for cacti I’ve found scouring the web.
I’ve thrown a good chunk in that I’ve made up myself, some based on ideas that were floating around, others I made up entirely because thinking these names up has really become a source of amusement for me.
I’ve grouped the cactus names together where they seem to go well in a group, and added a few open-ended categories as well, in case there are themes you want to explore with a collection.
I genuinely have always found naming conventions stupid fun, but you’ll read more about this later when we get to those sections.
Be sure to let me know your favourites in the comments down below!
Those who want to skip ahead to finding some really good ones quick can jump there to pick out the ones vetted by you as being your top faves.
Also, if there’s a specific name, a category, or heck, even a specific type of “prickly” person you could name a cacti after that you’ve thought of and it didn’t happen to make it to this list, please-oh-please take a moment to leave that in the comments below.
I swear I get such a kick out of these, I can’t help but love stumbling on more, and I know others would appreciate your great ideas just as much as I do!
If I ever start that mini collection, my guess is you guys will come up with such good ones, I’ll end up stealing my faves from the comments section for my own uses 😉
(Psst, I now have a “pet names” list for succulents besides cacti, so check that out if you collect other succulents and may give them a name.)
Cute & Funny Cactus Names: Can You Think of More?
Puns That Allude to Cactus Spines
Cactus names that allude to spines are some of my favourite ever. They’re pretty darn easy to appreciate, so if you’re looking for names that are quite easy for everyone to see the humour in, this is the way to go.
If I had just one or two indoor plant cacti, I’d definitely choose this category to name my cactus/cacti from. Seeing as how I have many, I think I’d sprinkle one or two in the mix when I finally put a collection together with name tags.
Some of my favourites “prickly” pun cactus names, all which I found scattered across the net, include the following:
- Porkie / Porkupine
- Spikasaurus Rex
Double Entendre Humor Cactus Names
I must admit, if it wasn’t for the internet, I definitely wouldn’t have thought to allude to the fact that single, solitary, long, tall cacti look a lot like – well you know – in a cactus name.
If you like to have a little double entendre action going on in your puns where you can, these are obviously going to be the perfect cactus names for you.
Sadly, I couldn’t find many recommendations, let alone think up many more than those names listed here, but you get the picture. If you can help me out with a few more name recommendations for this type of thing – let me know what you’ve thought up so I can add them!
- Little Prick/Big Prick
- Woody (for tall, straight phallic looking cacti like pachycereus marginatus)
Cactus Names That Are Puns on Pain
While the pun-on-cactus-spines route is the most obvious, and you can certainly go that route for days if you want to, if you’re looking to further extend your cactus collection into names that are puns and just as easy to understand and appreciate, you might want to go a step further.
The obvious second choice, naming a cactus after that painful feeling you get when you accidentally brush against a cactus, let alone touch one accidentally while trying to pull out a weed from the soil that’s rooted nearby in same pot (so uncomfortable!).
Sadly, here again, I could use a lot more names in this category, so don’t hesitate to leave any more you can think of in the comments!
- Sir Stabbington
Ironic Cactus Names That Pretend Cacti Are Cuddly
Love the idea alluding to pain when it comes to cacti? Want something that pretends a cactus is a cute, cuddly little pet instead of a really painful plant to touch?
This goes one step farther on the pun scale, and I absolutely think it’s one of my favourite ideas. Still easy to understand, but oh-so-clever.
The irony is dripping cactus names go –
- Free Hugs
Cute Cactus Names Based on Rhyming or Alliteration
Sometimes, it’s just plain nice to have a little alliteration in a name. There’s something to repeating sounds that make names quite a bit more fun.
While this one doesn’t need much explanation, if you’re planning on using it as a naming convention I’d like to point out how perfectly it works out if you’re going to use it in conjunction with the actual name of the plant.
Naming an entire collection like this allows you to have your cake and eat it to, insofar as labelling and quirky names go that is.
Here are a few of my favourites, again mostly found scattered across the web –
- Katniss the Cactus
- Shane the Sharp
- Prickly Pete
- Peter the Prick
- Rick the Prick
- Serena the Succulent
- Senior Saguaro
- Atticus the Acupuncturist
- Denizen of Deserts
- Xena the Xerophyte
- Prickly Pear Perry
- Carl the Cactus
Funny Cactus Names Based on Pop Culture & Fictional Characters
I absolutely love the idea of naming any plant something funny based on a pop culture or fictional character reference.
I love the idea of using pop culture references in terms of naming anything really, but when it comes to plants, I feel like it’s especially funny, and would probably be pretty darn unexpected, meaning it’d probably be quite a hoot for guests to discover upon closer inspection.
A lot of these names I found scattered across the web, but I feel like there are likely to be many more I’m missing out listing. Please do let me know if you can think of more, as I think this naming theme would lovely for a mini collection of cacti, especially if the list was a little longer for those with more cacti to name in their collections.
- Cactus Everdeen
- MC Hammer (“Can’t Touch This”)
- Bloat (after the pufferfish in Finding Nemo)
- Poker Face (after the Lady Gaga song)
- Spike Lee
- Señor Dinkles
- Spikes McGee
- Big Tex
Personalized Naming Conventions for Cacti
If you liked the idea I brought up in the intro of naming a cactus after someone you personally know or have known in your past who was particularly prickly and was never all that nice to you, that’s what this particular naming convention is for.
You can also use them for people you haven’t met, such as public figures, who you happen to disdain or think are pretty terrible people.
Heck, even comedians, actors, influencers, or other types of celebrities or public figures who you like, but who you find particularly prickly would fit this bill.
Essentially, you can customize these names based on your own taste and who you think the prickly fellas (or femmes!) in life happen to be.
I can see this one being a huge conversation starter – leading to quite a lot of laughing, musing, and even nostalgia if you happen to showcase your collection to someone who knows the people you’ve named your cacti after.
Here are a few ideas for places to find those names out of all the people you’ve known, known of, or currently have in your life that are just-prickly-enough to have a cactus named after them.
- Mean bosses, horrible co-workers.
- Terrible teachers, frightful principals.
- Friends who turned out to not-be-friends.
- In-laws, parents (you might want to use code names for this one).
- Ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends.
- Politicians you don’t particularly like.
- Celebrities you think are asses.
Heck, even spouses, best friends, or people you like and come over often, if you think they’ll get a kick out of being the new “prick” in their collection.
Funny Cactus Names Based on Fruit, Veggies, & Edible Foods
When I played Pokemon on my Gameboy Advanced as a teenager, I would name literally every single Pokemon I used regularly after a food name. I had names like “Blueberry” (for Azurill) and “Chicken” (for Torchic) littered in my backpack and my safety deposit box.
I know, I’m a weirdo, but I found it pretty darn amusing, and to be honest, I can see myself naming a collection of plants in this way as well. Why? Well I think it’s downright fun.
Not only that, but there’s an endless number of fruit, veggies, and other foods you can pick names out based on, so if you have a large collection of pretty much anything, and you want endless options, it’s an epic naming convention.
It also makes for some pretty funny visual comparisons. Like naming a barrel cactus “Brussel Sprouts”? Huge resemblance there 😉 A Peruvian Apple Cactus that goes for days named “Green Bean” or “Asparagus”?
Honestly, I love it.
- Brussel Sprouts
- Green Apple
- Green Bean
- Green Onion
- Snow Pea
- Sugar Snap
Amusing Titles for Cacti
I found these on the web and thought they deserved their own category. Definitely creative 😉
- The Unwatered
- The Green One
- Succulent The Spiny
Other Funny Cactus Names
I really couldn’t come up with a category for these, but I did think they were worth sharing, so here they are!
- Dr. Spiky M.D.
- Mini Me
Other Cute Names for Cacti
These cute cactus names didn’t belong in another category either, so here they are sharing their own cute category –
Your Favourite Cactus Names?
What are your favourite names for cacti?
Are there any names in this list you thought were perfect for a little baby cactus you’ve got at home? Any names that weren’t on this list you think should’ve been?
Let me know in the comments below!