Cylindropuntia species

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Scientific Name Cylindropuntia imbricata var. imbricata (Opuntia imbricata var. imbricata, Opuntia imbricata var. arborescens) USDA PLANTS Symbol
Common Name Tree Cholla, Cane Cholla ITIS Taxonomic Serial No.
Family Cactaceae (Cactus) SEINet Reference
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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
Scientific Name Cylindropuntia leptocaulis USDA PLANTS Symbol
Common Name Pencil Cactus, Desert Christmas Cactus ITIS Taxonomic Serial No.
Family Cactaceae (Cactus) SEINet Reference
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Description Deserts and grasslands; shrubby plant up to 5 to 6 feet tall; pale yellow flowers and red fruit; short spineless stems. Texas Status

© Tom Lebsack 2019