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Cylindropuntia bigelovii (Teddybear cholla)
Flaigg, Norman G.

Cylindropuntia bigelovii

Cylindropuntia bigelovii (Engelm.) F.M. Knuth

Teddybear Cholla

Cactaceae (Cactus Family)

Synonym(s): Opuntia bigelovii

USDA Symbol: CYBI9

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A miniature tree, the upper half with short, stubby branches densely covered with pale golden spines. Flowers green or yellow, the petals often streaked with lavender.

Though the branches resemble the arms and legs of a fuzzy teddy bear, this plant is far from cuddly. With its painfully clinging spines, it is one of the most formidable and respected Cacti of the Southwest.


From the Image Gallery

6 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Cactus/Succulent
Fruit Type: Berry
Size Notes: Up to 3 feet high.
Flower: Flowers 1 1/2 inch long and across.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Yellow , Green
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , Jun , Jul , Aug
Bloom Notes: Diurnal. Pale yellow to light green to whitish, sometimes tipped red.


Native Distribution: Southeastern California to western Arizona; south to northwestern Mexico, Baja California.
Native Habitat: Hot, dry rocky slopes in deserts.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Heat Tolerant: yes
Conditions Comments: Minimum temperature 50F

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA


Bibref 1140 - Cacti (1991) Clive Innes and Charles Glass
Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Cylindropuntia bigelovii in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Cylindropuntia bigelovii in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Cylindropuntia bigelovii


Record Modified: 2009-02-20
Research By: TWC Staff

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