Cylindropuntia species

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Scientific Name Cylindropuntia imbricata var. argentea (Opuntia imbricata var. argentea) USDA PLANTS Symbol
CYIMA
Common Name Big Bend Cholla ITIS Taxonomic Serial No.
913455
Family Cactaceae (Cactus)
SEINet Reference
Description Habitat: Gravelly limestone soils of hills, washes and flats 2000 to 2400 feet elevation; endemic to a small portion of Big Bend National Park around the Mariscal Mtn. and into Mexico.
Plant: Shrub less than 4 feet tall, densely spined and branched with relatively short, stout joints (compared to C. imbricata var. imbricata).
Pads & Spines: Joints 4 to 8 inches long, 3/4 to 1-1/2 inches in diameter; tubercules up to 3/4-inch long; areoles more closely spaced than other imbricata; silvery spines with 10 to 20 spines per areole.
Inflorescence: Flowers 2 inches across with pinkish to deep magenta tepals, outer ones having an olive hue in the middle portion; deep reddish-purple filaments less than 3/8-inch long; light yellow to cream-colored anthers; style about 3/4-inch long or less with cream-colored, stigma lobes.
Bloom Period: Early April.
Fruit: Yellow, spineless, inverse conical, 1 to 1-5/8 inches long, 3/4 to 1 inches across with deep tubercules; long-lasting.
References: "Little Big Bend" by Roy Morey, "Cacti of Texas" by Powell, Weedin and Powell and "Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas" by Correll and Johnston.
Texas Status
Native
Endemic
Scientific Name Cylindropuntia imbricata var. imbricata (Opuntia imbricata var. imbricata, Opuntia imbricata var. arborescens) USDA PLANTS Symbol
CYIMI
Common Name Tree Cholla, Cane Cholla ITIS Taxonomic Serial No.
913475
Family Cactaceae (Cactus)
SEINet Reference
Description Habitat: Mountains and desert habitat; gravelly or sandy igneous and sedimentary soils in 4000 to 5900 feet elevation.
Plant: Tree-like, up to 6 to 10 feet tall, the tallest cactus species in the Trans-Pecos; many-branched contorted stems 1-inch or more in diameter.
Pads & Spines: No pads; joints 5 to 15 inches long, about 1 inch in diameter with prominent, overlapping tubercules 1 to 2 inches long; spines (usually red, pink or brown) along joints with 6 to 17 central and 3 to 10 radial spines per areole, 1/2 to 1-1/8 inches long.
Inflorescence: Flowers with reddish-purple tepals 2 to 3 inches across; greenish to greenish-red filaments about 3/8-inch long; yellow to cream-colored anthers; style about an inch or more long with cream-colored, 5 to 8-lobed stigma.
Bloom Period: May and June.
Fruit: Yellow, spineless, egg-shaped/cylindrical, 1 to 1-3/4 inches long with prominent tubercules; long-lasting.
References: "Cacti of Texas" by Powell, Weedin and Powell and "Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas" by Correll and Johnston.
Texas Status
Native
Scientific Name Cylindropuntia leptocaulis (Opuntia leptocaulis) USDA PLANTS Symbol
CYLE8
Common Name Pencil Cactus, Desert Christmas Cactus ITIS Taxonomic Serial No.
907718
Family Cactaceae (Cactus)
SEINet Reference
Description Habitat: Rocky soils in deserts and semidesert areas and grasslands; often found among other shrubs; widespread up to 5000 ft.
Plant: Compact low shrub up to 4 ft. tall.
Pads & Spines: Long, thin cylindrical stems 1/4 to 1/2-inch in diameter, joints of primary stems 12 to 16 inches long, secondary terminal joints much shorter (1 to 3 inches long); spines usually only on primary stems, white to brown, one per areole and 1 to 2 inches long.
Inflorescence: Small, greenish-yellow flowers 3/8 to 3/4-inch across.
Fruit: Bright red, fleshy, pear-shaped or obovoid, 1/2 to 1 inch long; persistant throughout the winter.
Bloom Period: May to September.
References: "Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas" by Correll and Johnston, "Cacti of Texas" by Powell, Weedin and Powell and www.americansouthwest.net.
Texas Status
Native

© Tom Lebsack 2019