Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.
Search native plant database:
Cylindropuntia imbricata var. imbricata
Cylindropuntia imbricata (Haw.) F.M. Knuth var. imbricata
Cane cactus, Cholla, Teddy-bear cholla, Tree cholla, Walkingstick cholla
Synonym(s): Cereus imbricatus, Opuntia arborescens, Opuntia imbricata, Opuntia imbricata var. arborescens, Opuntia imbricata var. imbricata, Opuntia imbricata var. vexans
USDA Symbol: cyimi
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
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
, UT Native Distribution:
s. to Mex. Native Habitat:
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
Record Last Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff