Cylindropuntia imbricata (Haw.) F.M.Knuth
Tree Cholla, Giant Tree Cholla, Cane Cholla, Walking Stick Cholla, Candelabrum Cactus, Chainlink Cactus, Devil's Rope Cactus, Coyote Prickly Pear
Cylindropuntia imbricata subsp. imbricata, Opuntia imbricata, Cylindropuntia cardenche, Cylindropuntia lloydii, Cylindropuntia × cardenche, Opuntia cardenche, Opuntia lloydii
Cylindropuntia imbricata is a tree-like cactus with a short woody trunk and several upright candelabra-like branches. It grows up to 10 feet (3 m) tall. The branches have 10 to 30 fairly short, white or light brown spines per areole that allow the green stem color, purplish in times of cold weather, to be clearly visible. The attractive violet flowers are followed by knobbly orange fruits that stay attached to the plant for many months.
USDA hardiness zones 4a to 11b: from −30 °F (−34.4 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Though the large variety of species within the Opuntia genus means different Prickly Pears may need slightly different care. All are desert cacti that need lots of sun, light, and very little water. So if you live in a hot, arid area, these plants can generally be planted outside, left alone, and enjoyed.
These cacti will grow just fine in a garden, but they can also be grown in pots. To repot, ensure the soil is dry, remove the pot and knock away the old soil. After treating any cuts with fungicide, place the cactus 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.
Opuntia can propagate either by cuttings or by seed. To propagate by cuttings, sever pads from a plant and let them dry so that the wounds heal. Then place the plants in dry soil and refrain from watering them until they begin to grow to avoid rotting them.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Opuntia.
This species is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.
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