Virginia Tech Dendrology

buckhorn cholla Cactaceae Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa (Engelm. & Bigelow) F.M. Knuth Listen to the Latin symbol: CYAC8
Leaf: Reduced to a spine, to 1 inch silvery-yellow spines covered with papery sheathes, arranged in obvious areoles with up to 25 (commonly 10-15) stiff spines per areole.
Flower: Red or yellow, 2 inches, displayed at the joint tips, mid-summer.
Fruit: Barrel-shaped or pear-shaped, fleshy and turning dry when ripe, reddish and turning yellow-brown, 1 inch, with spines.
Twig: Segmented, each segment gray-green to purplish, to 12 inches long and 3/4 inch in diameter.
Bark: Brown-black, becoming rough and scaly.
Form: Shrubby segmented cactus branching very low to the ground, to 12 feet.
Looks like: pencil cholla - Teddy bear cholla - tree cholla - cane cholla
leaf flower fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting buckhorn cholla.
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson