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Cylindropuntia fulgida (Jumping Cholla)

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Scientific Name

Cylindropuntia fulgida (Engelm.) F.M.Knuth

Common Names

Jumping Cholla, Hanging Chain Cholla, Chain Fruit Cholla

Synonyms

Opuntia fulgida (basionym), Cylindropuntia fulgida var. fulgida, Grusonia fulgida, Opuntia mamillata

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Opuntioideae
Tribe: Cylindropuntieae
Genus: Cylindropuntia

Description

Cylindropuntia fulgida is a tree-like cactus with one low-branching trunk. It grows up to 13.3 feet (4 m) tall, with drooping branches of chained fruit. The stems are light green and are strongly tuberculate. Leaves have been reduced to spines, 6 to 12 of which grow from each areole. Young branches are covered with up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long, silvery-yellow spines, which darken to a gray color with age. These spines form a dense layer that obscures the stems. The flowers are white and pink, streaked with lavender. They are up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide and are displayed at the joint tips (or old fruit tips), blooming in mid-summer.

Photo via wikipedia.org

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 8b to 11b: from 15 °F (−9.4 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Though the large variety of species within the Opuntia genus means different types of prickly pears may need slightly different care, all are desert cacti that need lots of sun, lots of light, and very little water. If you live in a hot, arid area – particularly the American Southwest – these plants can generally be planted outside, left alone, and enjoyed.

Though Opuntia will grow just fine in a garden, they can be grown in pots as well. To repot, ensure the soil is dry, then remove the pot and knock away the old soil. After treating any cuts with fungicide, place the prickly pear in a new pot and backfill it with potting soil. As with a new cutting, make sure not to water a newly repotting prickly pear for a brief period to avoid rotting its roots… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Opuntia

Origin

Native to Sonora and the southwestern United States.

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