Buckhorn Cholla

Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa

Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed along Fish Creek, Superstition Mountains, Arizona, USA. 07 Nov. 2018. These developing fruits will soon turn brown and shrivel. Notice spines at the fruit areoles.

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JOINTS: The stems are succulent and formed into cylindrical joints mostly less than 30 cm long and 2½ to 5 cm in diameter. The tubercles on the joints are conspicuously raised and elongate.

FRUIT: Mature fruit turns dry and brown and is set with spines as well as glochids.

RANGE: North and east of the Phoenix area this cactus can be found on drier sites within canyons as well as a component of grass and chaparral habitats. Southeast of Mesa and Tucson Staghorn and Cane Chollas are found instead.

SHRUB: Normally a shrub rarely surpassing 2 m tall. Occasionally with a distinct central trunk.

FLOWERS: Numerous petals are variable in color ranging red, yellow, orange or purplish.


SPINES: Up to two dozen per areole, 30 mm long, silvery or tan but turning dark with age.

Cactaceae -- Cactus Family

More Information:

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Arizona Naturalist
Sycamore Canyons
The Flora of Arizona's Sycamore Canyons


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 17 Nov. 2020.