staghorn cholla Cactaceae Cylindropuntia
versicolor (Engelm. ex J.M. Coult.) F.M. Knuth symbol: CYVE3
Leaf: Reduced to a spine covered in a gray sheath, arranged in obvious areoles with 6-10 medium-long stiff spines per areole.
Flower: Yellow-green, yellow, orange, or pink, 1 1/2 inch, displayed at the joint tips, appearing in late spring.
Fruit: Barrel-shaped or pear-shaped, initially fleshy, purplish, turning yellow-brown, to 2 inches, mostly lacking spines, persisting.
Twig: Segmented, each segment purplish or greenish purple, to 7 inches long (often 3-4 inches) and 3/4 inch in diameter.
Bark: Brown-black, becoming rough and scaly.
Form: A large shrub to 10 feet, loosely branched.
Looks like: pencil cholla - pencil cholla - buckhorn cholla
Additional Range Information: Cylindropuntia versicolor is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. Download the full-size PDF map.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
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