I'll be flying domestically within the US from a part of the country where cacti are common to one where they aren't. As a small token gift I'd like to bring a small prickly pear cactus from my yard. These cacti are covered in small spines and could possibly be used as a weapon, albeit not a very effective one. I won't be checking any bags so unfortunately it would have to travel in my carryon.

Would it allowed to bring a cactus in my carryon or is it considered a banned item?

I am flying from Colorado to Logan International in Boston. The flight is domestic so I wouldn't go through Customs.

  • tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/all says plants are OK and nothing about cacti, but you can double check with them by using the AskTSA procedure described on that page. Don’t forget to tell us the result!
    – jcaron
    Commented Jul 15, 2021 at 18:54
  • 5
    A cactus in carry-on will not be a problem on the flight but it might be a problem when you land. Several places do not accept living plants and/or the earth they grow in as diseases may be carried. Even fruit is often not acceptable. Can you please add where you start from and where you fly to, so people can help you with that.
    – Willeke
    Commented Jul 15, 2021 at 21:03
  • @Willeke The destination airport is Logan International in Boston. The flight is domestic so I wouldn't go through Customs. Commented Jul 15, 2021 at 23:11
  • 1
    Massachusetts prohibits the import of many plants. See here for a list. You should verify that the plant you wish to import is not on that list.
    – Peter M
    Commented Jul 16, 2021 at 11:32
  • 2
    Please indicate what states you are flying from and to. For example, if you are flying from Arizona, take a look at pages 44 to 51 of this document It lists all of the plants that are protected in Arizona. Most people know Saguaro's are protected, but fewer people know how many other plants are likewise protected. There are no border protections between states, but you still have to pass through security and TSA may or may not know local laws. Then again, you could get a busybody...
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Jul 16, 2021 at 16:36


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