Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa, Buckhorn Cholla

Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa, Buckhorn Cholla, Southwest Desert Flora Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa, Buckhorn Cholla, Southwest Desert Flora Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa, Buckhorn Cholla, Southwest Desert Flora Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa, Buckhorn Cholla, Southwest Desert Flora

Scientific Name: Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa
Common Name: Buckhorn Cholla
Also Called: (Spanish: Choya, Tasajo)
Family: Cactaceae, Cactus Family
Synonyms: (Opuntia acanthocarpa, Opuntia acanthocarpa var. ramosa)
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 7 feet or more.
Growth Form: Shrub or arborescent plant; trunk short.
Leaves: Leaves modified into spines or glochids and emerging from areoles.
Flower Color: Bright yellow to bronze to brick red;
Flowering Season: Spring
Elevation: 500 to 3,500 feet.
Habitat Preferences: Sandy or gravelly soils.
Recorded Range: In the United States Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa is found in AZ, CA, NV and UT. In Arizona it is found throughout the central and western parts of the state. AZ, CA, extreme southeast NV AND extreme southwest UT.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa.

Genus Information: Cylindropuntia contains 29 species and 39 accepted taxa overall in the United States and Canada. The Plant List includes 43 accepted species names for Cylindropuntia.
There are 4 varieties in Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa:
Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa var. acanthocarpa, Buckhorn Cholla (AZ, NV and UT);
Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa var. coloradensis, Pinkava Colorado Buckhorn Cholla (AZ, CA, NV and UT);
Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa var. major, Pinkava Buckhorn Cholla (AZ, CA and NV) and
Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa var. thornberi, Pinkava Colorado Buckhorn Cholla (AZ only).

Comments: The type specimen for Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa is from Mohave County, Arizona. The author of Southwest Desert Flora is fortunate in 1972, to have Dr. Donald J. Pinkava as his professor for the course "Flora of Arizona" at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.

References: Date Profile Completed: 06/07/2015, 07/21/2015
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search
Donald J. Pinkava, FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 4 | Cactaceae| Page 94, 95, 102, 103 | Cylindropuntia | Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford. (accessed 07-Jun-2015).
1969, Benson, Lyman, The Cacti of Arizona, The University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona.
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California, as Opuntia acanthocarpa.
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names and recorded geographic locations,
http://swbiodiversity.org/seinet/.