pencil cholla Cactaceae Cylindropuntia
tesajo (Engelm. ex J.M. Coult.) F.M. Knuth symbol: --
Leaf: Reduced to a spine covered in a tan sheath, arranged in obvious areoles with up to 4 long stiff spines per areole.
Flower: Yellow-green to yellow, 1 1/2 inch, displayed at the joint tips, appearing in spring.
Fruit: Barrel-shaped or pear-shaped, initially fleshy, green and red, turning yellow-brown, to 2 inches, lacking spines, persisting.
Twig: Segmented, each segment gray-green to purplish, to 6 inches long (often 3-4 inches) and 1/2 inch in diameter.
Bark: Brown-black, becoming rough and scaly.
Form: Shrubby segmented cactus branching very low to the ground, to 3 feet, densely branched.
Looks like: pencil cholla - staghorn cholla - buckhorn cholla
Additional Range Information: Cylindropuntia tesajo is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See the full-size PDF map.
All material © 2019 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range map source information