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Cylindropuntia imbricata var. imbricata (Haw.) F.M. Knuth
Cane cactus, Cholla, Teddy-bear cholla, Tree cholla, Walkingstick cholla
USDA Symbol: CYIMI
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Tree cholla grows tall and upright, sometimes bushy but usually treelike, 3-8 ft. in height. The main trunk in round and can reach 3-4 in. in diameter with age. The spiny stems are jointed and cylindrical. Large, showy flowers open out wide and are reddish-purple in color. Fruits ripen from green to rose to yellow.
This is the first bush-like or tree-like Cholla (pronounced CHOY-yah) encountered when traveling from the East to the Southwest. Near the Rio Grande other species appear, and in Arizona there are many, making identification more difficult. Once the flesh has weathered away, their woody stems are hollow, with many holes, and are popular souvenirs.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink
Bloom Time: May , Jun
AZ , CO , KS , NM , OK , TX , UT Native Distribution:
W. KS & CO, s. to Mex. Native Habitat:
Mesas; deserts USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Low Light Requirement:
Sun , Part Shade Soil Moisture:
Dry Heat Tolerant:
Sandy or gravelly soils. Limestone-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Caliche type Conditions Comments:
Pronounced choy-ya. Slow grower but eventually gets shrubby or tree-shaped. Woody stems appear braided and the yellow fruit
are showy. Dead stems have interesting skeletons once the soft tissue has decomposed away. These are often used as souvenirs. Provide good drainage. Caution: has sharp spines.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Showy, Planned landscape, Desert landscape, Blooms ornamental, Fruits ornamental
Use Wildlife: Nectar-insects, Nectar-bees, Nesting site, Fruit-birds
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: High
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Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff