Cylindropuntia arbuscula, Arizona Pencil Cholla
Scientific Name: Cylindropuntia arbuscula
Common Name: Arizona Pencil Cholla
Also Called: Pencil Cholla; (Spanish: Siviri, Clavellina)
Family: Cactaceae, Cactus Family
Synonyms: (Opuntia arbuscula)
Size: Up to 9 feet, usually about 3 or 4 feet.
Growth Form: Shrub; trunk up to 1 foot and 2 to 4 inches in diameter, joints 2 to 6 inches long, plants sparsely to densely branched.
Leaves: Leaves modified into spines or glochids and emerging from areoles.
Flower Color: Bright yellow to bronze to brick red, anthers yellow.
Flowering Season: May and June.
Elevation: 1,000 to 3,000 feet.
Habitat Preferences: Sandy, gravelly washes in the desert.
Recorded Range: In the United States, Arizona Pencil Cholla is found only in the state of Arizona, where it is found in the central and southern parts of the state. It is also native to central and northwest Mexico.
North America & US County Distribution Map for Cylindropuntia arbuscula.
U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: Opuntia arbuscula, Pencil Cholla is salvage restricted in Arizona.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 12 species of genus, California has 10 species, Nevada has 5 species, New Mexico has 8 species, Texas has 6 species, Utah has 3 species. Hybrids excluded, all data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.
Comments: Arizona Pencil Cholla, Cylindropuntia arbuscula is in a group of cacti sometimes referred to as "pencil chollas" and is similar to, and closely related to Christmas Cholla, Cylindropuntia leptocaulis and to Klein's Pencil Cactus, Cylindropuntia kleiniae.
The type specimen for Cylindropuntia arbuscula is from Pinal County, Arizona.
In Southwest Desert Flora also see: Buckhorn Cholla, Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa, Teddy Bear Cholla, Cylindropuntia bigelovii, Jumping Cholla, Cylindropuntia fulgida, Gander's Buckhorn Cholla, Cylindropuntia ganderi, Klein's Pencil Cactus, Cylindropuntia kleiniae Christmas Cactus, Cylindropuntia leptocaulis Walkingstick Cactus, Cylindropuntia spinosior and Baja Pencil Cholla, Cylindropuntia tesajo.
Arizona Pencil Cholla provided food for southwestern American indigenous peoples.
See other ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn, Michigan.