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Cane Cholla

Cylindropuntia spinosior

Mature fruit of Cane Cholla, Cylindropuntia spinosior, photo © by Michael Plagens

Nearly mature fruit of Cane Cholla, Cylindropuntia spinosior, from Gila Co., Arizona, USA. This photograph is also hosted at Wikimedia where you can find more resources about chollas.

SUCCULENT: Spiny cactus with long, straight, thick joints with prominent tubercles. Large specimens up to three or more meters tall are not uncommon.

Flower of Cane Cholla, Cylindropuntia spinosior, photo © by Michael Plagens

FLOWERS: Magenta/Pink. Sometimes yellow to greenish. The flower at right was observed at Oak Flat in Pinal Co., Arizona on 4 June 2011.

SPINES: Roughly a dozen or so tan to gray spines at each areole. 1-2 cm. long. Few if any large spines on the fruit.

LEAVES: Fleshy linear leaves appear on new growth in the spring, but are quickly shed leaving green photosynthetic joints.

RANGE: Upland Sonoran Desert of Arizona pushing into chaparral and grassland habitats. Hybridizes with other cholla species producing a lot of integrading populations.

FRUIT: Prominent tubercles on fruit and joints. On maturity the fruits become brown and dry.

Cactaceae -- Cactus Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2011