Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Cylindropuntia arbuscula, Arizona Pencil Cholla

Cylindropuntia arbuscula, Arizona Pencil Cholla, Southwest Desert Flora Cylindropuntia arbuscula, Arizona Pencil Cholla, Southwest Desert Flora Cylindropuntia arbuscula, Arizona Pencil Cholla, Southwest Desert Flora Cylindropuntia arbuscula, Arizona Pencil Cholla, Southwest Desert Flora Cylindropuntia arbuscula, Arizona Pencil Cholla, Southwest Desert Flora

Scientific Name: Cylindropuntia arbuscula
Common Name: Arizona Pencil Cholla
Also Called: Pencil Cholla; (Spanish: Siviri, Clavellina)
Family: Cactaceae, Cactus Family
Synonyms: (Opuntia arbuscula)
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
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.

U.S. Weed Information:
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information:
Wetland Indicator:
Threatened/Endangered Information: Opuntia arbuscula, Pencil Cholla is salvage restricted in Arizona.

Genus Information: 20 species Cylindropuntia in the United States and Canada.

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.

Ethnobotanical Uses: The fruits of Arizona Pencil Cholla provided food for Pima and Gila River Native Americans. See the full species account from Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.

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
http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=CYAR14
Donald J. Pinkava, FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 4 | Cactaceae| 104, 107, 110, 111 | 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 arbuscula.
USDA – Threatened and Endangered Information:
Arizona, Opuntia arbuscula, Pencil Cholla, Salvage restricted