Cylindropuntia spinosior – Walkingstick Cactus
Scientific Name: Cylindropuntia spinosior
Synonym: Opuntia spinosior
Common Names: Walkingstick Cactus, Cane Cholla, Walking Stick Cactus
Growth Habit: Shrub, Cactus
Arizona Native Status: Native
Habitat: Desert, Upland
Flower Color: Magenta pink (the most common), Red, Orange, Brown, Yellow, Yellow-green
Flowering Season: Spring (late), Summer
Height: To 8 feet (2.4 m) tall
Description: The showy flowers are 3 inches (7.6 cm) wide and have bright pink to magenta-purple (occasionally green) anther filaments and a white, pink, or magenta style. The flowers are followed by essentially spineless, very tuberculate (bumpy), bright yellow fruit. The stems are green, branched, and spiny with 6 to 18 grayish spines per areole. The side stem branches are held more horizontal than upright.
The similar Staghorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia versicolor) has smooth, plump, mostly spineless, green, purplish, or reddish fruits that remain on the plant while flowering, while the also similar Buck-horn Cholla (Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa) has bumpy, very spiny, tan fruits that drop off before the plant flowers.
Edible – The ripe, yellow fruits are edible.
Legal Status – Protected Native Plant (Salvage Restricted)
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Cactaceae – Cactus family
Genus: Cylindropuntia (Engelm.) Kreuzinger
Species: Cylindropuntia spinosior (Engelm.) F.M. Knuth – walkingstick cactus
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