Virginia Tech Dendrology

tree cholla Cactaceae Cylindropuntia imbricata (Haw.) F.M. Knuth Listen to the Latin symbol: CYIM2
Leaf: Reduced to a spine, to 1 inch silvery-yellow spines, arranged in obvious areoles with up to 30 (commonly 10-15) stiff spines per areole.
Flower: Pink to purple or sometimes yellow-orange, to 2 1/2 inches, displayed at the joint tips, early summer.
Fruit: Barrel-shaped, fleshy, yellow-green, 2 inch, without spines, persisiting into winter.
Twig: Segmented, each segment blue-green or yellow-green, to 14 inches long and 2 inches in diameter, segments appearing imbricate with areoles displayed on raised tubercules.
Bark: Brown-black, becoming rough and scaly.
Form: Generally upright segmented cactus with one low-branching trunk to 4 inches in diameter, height to 12 feet.
Looks like: chain cholla - Teddy bear cholla - buckhorn cholla - cane cholla
leaf flower fruit form1 map
Additional Range Information: Cylindropuntia imbricata is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting tree cholla.
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2018 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