The Elephant Cactus is a Plant introduced in the Shipwrecked DLC and is found in the Volcano. It is active during the Dry Season. When approached, the cactus fires its spikes as an Area of Effect (AoE) attack dealing 20 damage to all Mobs in range (about 1 Turf tile). Each time the cactus is attacked, it deals 10 damage to the attacker. While wearing Cactus Armor, players are immune to the AoE attack and will not be targeted, however damage will still be taken from attacking the cactus with a Melee Weapon.
When killed, the Elephant Cactus shrinks into a stump and drops a Cactus Spike. It can then be dug up with a Shovel and replanted in a new location. Replanting during Dry Season spawns an active cactus; Replanting at any other time spawns a withered cactus, which can be fertilized with Ashes. Digging up a withered Elephant Cactus will yield two Twigs. The cactus can be only planted on Magma Turf, Ashy Turf, or Volcano Turf.
When entering Mild Season from Dry Season, an active Elephant Cactus will possibly wither. When returning to Dry Season, both a withered cactus and a cactus stump will grow into an active cactus.
Elephant Cacti are nonflammable when planted or as an item on the ground, although they still take fire damage and can still be used as fuel. However, using them as fuel is ill advised, since they are relatively rare and are nonrenewable.
Withered Elephant Cacti can be planted close enough together to block the movement of Mobs and the player. Since they cannot be killed in this form, they can be used as indestructible Walls. The Bearger's or Tiger Shark's pound attacks will uproot them though. They are excellent for farming almost any mobs and for building defenses due to their AoE damage, ability to be replanted, and associated armor (rendering the cacti harmless). Possible uses include:
- Planted around a Bee Box to easily gather Stingers and occasionally Honey.
- Surrounding a Powdercake with four cacti will make an easy farm for Gobblers, Rabbits, Crabbits, Pigs, Wildbores and anything attracted to the bait.
- Flowers can be planted around them to farm Butterfly Wings and Butter.
- Dropping seeds around them and wearing a Feather Hat is a good way to farm Birds for their drops. However, since the AoE damage is lower than a bird's health, when hit by the attack it is stunned, allowing it to be picked up; if the bird is not collected quickly it will be killed by the cactus.
- A grid of planted Elephant Cactic can be used as a defense against periodic Crocodog attacks.
- Farm Spiders although they need to be planted at least 2.5 Tiles away from the Spider Den to avoid destroying the den.
- Surrounding Dragoon Dens with many Elephant Cacti is a good way to farm Dragoon Hearts and Monster Meat from Dragoons.
- Cacti planted near Snake Dens will kill Snakes for Monster Meat, Snakeskin and Venom Glands.
- While Elephant Cacti do not burn, they still do take fire damage. Therefore when used against hounds, an Ice Flingomatic nearby is recommended to keep them safe from the fire of dead Red Hounds.
- An easy way to collect an Elephant Cactus is to dig up 4 nearby Turfs with a Pitchfork and place them (separately, not stacked) on the ground next to it and light them on fire. Seven twigs can also be used for this. The cactus will die to the fire damage and the spike and stump can be collected. For inactive cacti, these can be placed before fertilizing it but should be ignited after the cactus is fertilized. For an active cactus, wearing a Cactus Armor is recommended to avoid the damage. More Turfs may be needed if they were not placed close enough to the cactus.
- After they have been planted, players can use a Pitchfork to change the turf under them without the cactus withering.
- Any Wendy and Maxwell players should be careful around Elephant Cacti since Abigail and Shadow Puppets cannot wear Cactus Armor and will always be attacked by the Cacti.
- Elephant Cacti can be brought into linked worlds via Seaworthy or Skyworthy and be used to farm things only found in the base game, Reign of Giants DLC and Hamlet DLC.
- Elephant Cacti will attack Walls.
- Even though the Elephant Cactus cannot be burnt, there is still a burnt version of it in the game files.
- It may be loosely based on the real-life Mexican giant cardon, also known as an Elephant Cactus.