All cactus leshys have at least two prickly branches that can manipulate objects; other than that, their shapes are as varied as those of cacti. A typical cactus leshy is between two and three feet tall and weighs up to 120 pounds when fully hydrated.
Cactus leshys only grow in sandy soil, preferably in deserts, as long as they are not provided too much water. If kept away from the desert for a few weeks, cactus leshys complain vociferously about the difficulty of staving off rot in mushy soil. Under the scorching sun, they tend to other cacti and help them conserve energy until the rains return. Cactus leshys are capable of draining their own vitality to create a fruit that can protect their allies from the punishing desert.
Cactus leshys are usually xenophobic and taciturn, but can become fiercely loyal friends to those who show them respect and are willing to tolerate their biting sarcasm. When it rains in the desert, cactus leshys become active, cheerful, and willing to help travellers find oases.
A variant cactus leshy called the pesh leshy or peshy tend to the cacti that produce the drug pesh in Katapesh: their fruits simulate the effects of the drug. They are more social than ordinary cactus leshys and work well alongside owners of small farms. Larger plantations are more controversial: some peshys support the proliferation of their charges while others see the industry as perverse.