|Jumping Cholla Cactus, Opuntia bigelovii.|
This Sample Is Seven Feet Tall.
Photo Taken April 18, 2005.
Flower Buds Just Starting To Show. A Few Are Open.
|Jumping Cactus, Opuntia bigelovii.|
A Species Of Cholla Cactus.
Also Called Silver Cholla.
|Cholla Represent About 30 Species.|
Opuntia Genus (Family Cactacea).
In North American Deserts.
|Chollas Have Sharp Spines.|
Actually Modified Leaves.
Papery Sheaths Cover Their Spines.
"Teddy Bear Cholla."
Jumping Cholla Cactus.
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This is one of many cholla cacti also known as "jumping cactus" it is notorious for very loose joint attachment, then the joints attach to hapless by-passers with the slightest brush. Some specimens may have a more greenish (rather than golden) coloration
Most of the fruits do not ripen. Instead they remain on the plant and then a new flower and fruit develops upon the old fruit the next year.
The joints readily break off and will often root to form a new plant. The ground about mature plants are usually littered with many dead or sprouted joints. Five inches long and up to four inches in diameter.
It is said to "jump" on you if you get close to it. It really does not jump but it is very easilly attached to you if you lightly brush against it. It is best stayed away from. I have lived in this area many years and each time I get near it I get stuck. The thorns swell in your wet skin and they become very difficult to remove. I used to always carry needle nose pliers with me when traveling near cactus. But now I do it different and easier!
If you do get some cactus spines in your skin, try using a very sticky tape such as Duct Tape or Gorilla Tape to remove the spines.
Or another very good method is to use regular white glue and spread it over the affected area. Let the glue dry, and tear it off. Oh Yes! It will tear off some hair, but it will also remove those nasty little stickers!
I personally use the glue method. I think it works best. You can also buy glue in very small packages that you can easilly carry with you, when hiking in the desert.
The thorns are said to resemble the fuzzy arms and legs of a Teddy Bear, thus the name Teddy Bear Cholla. It can easilly be distinguished by its dense, straw-colored spines and yellow to green flowers.
Height: Up To About to 6 feet, and it spreads out to about 2/3 of its' height; slow growth.
Flowers: On joint terminals; greenish - white, Some lavender in the flower, inconspicuous; bloom from February-May. Flowers 1.2" - 1.6" in diameter.
Flowering Time: April - June.
Fruit & Seeds: The fruit is green wrinkled barrel-shaped, 2-4" long and 1.2" to 1.6" in diameter. Seeds are not normally found in the fruit.
Leaves: Very loosely adhered joints 2-4" long with plentiful sharp spines; gold or straw colored; from a distance the spines give the illusion of a soft or fuzzy appearance. Cactus thorns are modified leaves. Their shape conserves water and adds protection to the cactus plant.
Trunk: Upright, trunk-forming segmented cactus, usually single trunked; trunk straight and dark; attractive gold color overall.
Jointed Stalks: Five inches long and about four inches in diameter.
Thorns: White of a golden color, forming dense clusters along the ribs. They are large and slightly hooked.
Found: Native to the USA (AZ, CA, NV). Also native to northern Mexico in northern Sonora, Baja Norte, & Baja California.
Soil pH requirements:
Elevation: 0 - 3,000 Feet.
Habitat: On well drained, rocky sandy desert, and gravel slopes in the desert mesas and rocky foothills. Sometimes used as a landscape plant.
Miscellaneous: Bottom Flowering Photos Taken April 25, 2003 Near Lake Pleasant, Arizona. Top Flowering Photo Taken April 18, 2005.
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