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Staghorn Cholla, Opuntia versicolor.

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Purple Stemed Plant.
Staghorn Cholla, Opuntia versicolor. Flower. Arizona Wild Flowers. Pictures, Photos, Images, Descriptions, Information, Reviews.Staghorn Cholla, Opuntia versicolor. Flower. Arizona Wild Flowers. Pictures, Photos, Images, Descriptions, Information, Reviews.
Staghorn Cholla Flower.Staghorn Cholla Flower.
Staghorn Cholla AreoleStaghorn Cholla, Opuntia versicolor. Jointed Stem. Arizona Wild Flowers. Pictures, Photos, Images, Descriptions, Information, Reviews.Staghorn Cholla SpinesStaghorn Cholla, Opuntia versicolor. Areole's. Arizona Wild Flowers. Pictures, Photos, Images, Descriptions, Information, Reviews.
Staghorn Cholla Jointed Stem.
Areole's Contain 5 - 7 Spines.
Staghorn Cholla Areole's.
Close Up Of Spines.
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Staghorn Cholla Also
Have Orange Flowers.
Staghorn Cholla Flower
Close Up Of Flower.
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Staghorn Cholla Also
Have Red Flowers.
Staghorn Cholla Flowers.
Red Flowers.

Staghorn Cholla Cactus.
Opuntia versicolor, Cactus Family ( Cactaceae ), Staghorn Cholla Cactus.

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A tree like cactus plant about 5 to 7 feet tall with green to purple stems. 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 5 to 11 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.

Staghorn is similar to Buckhorn Cholla and both grow from about 3' - 15' tall.

The Tohono O'odham use both Staghorn and Buckhorn Cholla to make delicious cholla buds. Buckhorn is similar except buckhorn cholla has spiny dry fruits that fall off rapidly rather than lingering on the plant.

Here are the main differences between Staghorn and Buckhorn:

Staghorn tubercles are prominent visually and 3 to 5 times as long as they are wide. The spines range from about 7 to 10 per areole and are 1/4" to 5/8" long, they tend to be reddish in color and they spread out in all directions. Staghorn flowers tend to be larger than Buckhorn flowers. Staghorn mature fruit is fleshy, usually spineless or only weakly spined, and persistent for more than a year (versus dry, covered by spines, and only stay on plant for a few months in Buckhorn Cholla).

In contrast, Buckhorn spines number up to 25 per areole, tan to straw-colored, and the longer ones are up to 1 1/2" long. Buckhorn flowers are smaller than Staghorn, and their anthers are dark red. Mature fruits are dry, deeply tuberculate, and covered with numerous long spines. The fruits fall within a few months of maturity.


Quick Notes:

Height: Up To About 3' to 7' but it sometimes grows to about 15 feet.

Flowers: Red, orange, yellow, yellow-green, pink, or bronze in color. The bright flowers are about 2 1/4 inches in diameter.

Flowering Time: April - May.

Trunk: Upright, trunk-forming segmented cactus, usually single trunked to about 4 inches in diameter; the joints are sausage-shaped.

Fruit: Staghorn mature fruit is pale yellow, fleshy, usually spineless or only weakly spined, and persistent for more than a year.

Jointed Stalks: The joints are narrow (4 - 12 inches long and about 3/4 inch thick). The spines are relatively sparse.

Thorns: About 7 to 10 per areole and are 1/4" to 5/8" long, they tend to be reddish in color and they spread out in all directions.

Found: Lower Elevations of the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. southeastern California, and . Also Sonora, Mexico. On sandy desert, and gravel slopes in the deserts and grass lands.

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Elevation: 100 - 3,800 Feet.

Habitat: On well drained, rocky sandy desert, and gravel slopes in the desert mesas and rocky foothills. Also used as a landscape plant. Found on the Sonoran Desert of western Arizona.

Miscellaneous: Flowering Photos Taken April 25, 2003. Top Flowering Photo Taken April 13, 2005. Near Lake Pleasant.

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