|Tree Cholla, Cylindropuntia imbricata.|
Photos Taken: May 13, 2008.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Near Superior, Arizona.
Tree Cholla Cactus.
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A treelike cactus plant about 5 to 7 feet tall with green to purple stems. Usually longer stems on the lower 1/3 of the cactus. Both green stemmed and purple stemmed plants can be found within a few feet of each other. The central trunk darkens with age and forms a sturdy woody structure.
Each areole on the stems contain about 12 spines and brown glochids. The spines grpw to 5/8 inch in length, they are reddish to grey.
It has many Green, obvate fruit on the end of terminal branches. The seed is light tan in color 1/16 to 1/8 inch in diameter, they are irregular and rough.
Height: Up To About 3' to 7' but it sometimes grows to about 15 feet.
Flowers: Red, pink, orange, yellow, yellow-green, in color. The bright flowers are about 2 1/4 inches to 3 inches in diameter.
Blooming Time: Late April - Early May.
Fruit & Seeds: Mature fruit is pale yellow, fleshy, turning brown. Usually spineless or only weakly spined, and persistent for more than a year.
Trunk: Upright, trunk-forming segmented cactus, usually single trunked to about 4 inches in diameter; the joints are sausage-shaped. Usually longer stems on the lower 1/3 of the cactus.
Spines: About 12 per areole and are 1/4" to 5/8" long, they tend to be reddish in color and they spread out in all directions.
Jointed Stalks: The joints are narrow (4 - 12 inches long and about 3/4 inch thick). The spines are relatively sparse.
Seeds: Black oval - about 1/32 inch in length.
Found: The USDA claims it is native to the USA (AZ, CO, KS, NM, OK, TX). It is also native to Mexico in the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo Leon, Sonora, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas, & Zacatecas.
Elevation: 0 - 7,500 Feet. We have seen this in Nuevo Leon, Mexico at 3,901 feet. We have read reports of it at 7,500 feet.
Hardiness: We have read a report from Pueblo, CO (Zone 6a) where this plant grows very well.
Soil pH requirements:
Habitat: On well drained, rocky sandy desert, and gravel slopes in the desert mesas and rocky foothills. From naturally in Mexico from about 3,900 to 7,500 feet. It also is used as a xeriscape landscape plant. Found on the Sonoran Desert of southern Arizona.
Miscellaneous: Photos Taken: Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Near Superior, Arizona. May 13, 2008.
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