Desert Christmas Cactus

Cylindropuntia leptocaulis
(Opuntia leptocaulis)

Photo © by Michael Plagens

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FRUIT: The fruit begin changing to bright red in the autumn and decorate this cactus through much of the winter season.

SUCCULENT: An intricately branched succulent occasionally up to 2 m tall. The joint-segments are pencil-thin and about 6 cm long.

SPINES: Long, thin needle-like spines are yellow when young.

FLOWERS: Yellow-green open mostly in May to July. Flower below observed at Romero Canyon, Pima Co., Arizona, July 30, 2016.
Photo © by Michael Plagens
RANGE: Generally distributed through the eastern portions of the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and hence into the Chihuahuan Desert.

Cactaceae -- Cactus Family

More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 6 Nov. 2007,
updated 6 Aug. 2016.