Cylindropuntia echinocarpa

(Engelmann & J. M. Bigelow) F. M. Knuth in C. Backeberg and F. M. Knuth

in C. Backeberg and F. M. Knuth, Kaktus-ABC, 124. 1935.

Common names: Silver cholla golden cholla
Basionyms: Opuntia echinocarpa Engelmann & J. M. Bigelow Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts. 3: 305. 1856
Synonyms: Cactus echinocarpus (Engelmann & Bigelow) Lemaire Cylindropuntia wigginsii (L. D. Benson) H. Robinson Opuntia wigginsii L. D. Benson
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 4. Treatment on page 115. Mentioned on page 104, 110, 111, 116.

Trees or shrubs, spreading, densely branched, 0.5–2 m. Stem segments usually firmly attached, terminal segments sometimes easily detached, green to light gray-green, cylindric, 3–7.5 (–12) × 1–2.5 cm; tubercles salient, short oval, 0.4–1.3 (–1.5) cm, moderately broad; areoles broadly elliptic, 4–4.5 × 2–3.5 mm; wool whitish, yellow to tan, aging gray. Spines (6–) 10–17 (–22) per areole, accompanied by 0–5 short bristlelike spines at areole margins, at most areoles, most prominent in adaxial ones, much interlaced with those of adjacent areoles, obscuring stems, sometimes brushlike; major abaxial spines whitish, yellow to tan, usually subterete to flattened, spreading to deflexed, the longest 20–30 (–45) mm; major adaxial spines erect or spreading, white, pale-yellow, or tan to brown (rarely deep redbrown), terete, the longest 22–35 (–50) mm; sheaths whitish with yellow to golden tips, baggy. Glochids conspicuous in broad adaxial crescent, yellow, 3–4 (–5) mm. Flowers: inner tepals light green to yellow-green, sometimes suffused with maroon or rose, spatulate, 20–23 mm, emarginate-apiculate; filaments greenish white or yellow, sometimes suffused with bronze or rose, but not red; anthers yellow; style and stigma lobes whitish, cream to light green. Fruits tan at maturity, obconic to subspheric, 13–23 × 11–20 mm, dry, tuberculate, densely spiny, sometimes burlike, with apical flange around deep umbilicus; basal tubercles not markedly longer than distal ones; areoles 16–24 (–36). Seeds pale-yellow, angular to squarish in outline, warped, 4–6 × 3.5–5 mm, sides smooth, each with 2–4 large depressions; girdle smooth (rarely with very narrow ridge). 2n = 22.


Phenology: Flowering spring (Mar–Jun).
Habitat: Mojave and Sonoran deserts, desert grasslands, juniper and oak-juniper woodlands, flats, bajadas, canyons, sandy, loam, alluvial to gravelly substrates
Elevation: 50-1700 m

Distribution

V4 221-distribution-map.gif

Ariz., Calif., Nev., Mexico (Baja California), Mexico (Sonora)

Discussion

A dwarf form, with narrow terminal stem segments bearing few spines per areole, and one spine longer than the others, occurs on the very arid flats along the lower Colorado River in California and Arizona and has been recognized as Opuntia wigginsii L. D. Benson; however, numerous intermediate to more robust forms make recognition of the dwarf form untenable. Although exceptions occur, plants to the north and west in the range tend to be more spiny and to bear yellow to yellow-green flowers.

Cylindropuntia echinocarpa hybridizes with C. acanthocarpa [= C. ×deserta (Griffiths) Pinkava (D. J. Pinkava 1999)], C. whipplei, and C. munzii. Cylindropuntia ×deserta, found in western Arizona and southern California, has reddish filaments, short tubercles, variably sized spines/areole, and dry spiny fruits.

Selected References

None.

Lower Taxa

None.

3 cm30 mm <br />0.03 m <br /> (4.5 cm45 mm <br />0.045 m <br />) +
yellow +  and tan +
usually subterete +  and flattened +
2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br /> (3 cm30 mm <br />0.03 m <br />) +
3.5 cm35 mm <br />0.035 m <br /> (5 cm50 mm <br />0.05 m <br />) +
tan +  and brown +
spreading +  and erect +
2.2 cm22 mm <br />0.022 m <br /> (3.5 cm35 mm <br />0.035 m <br />) +
cushionlike +
gray +  and tan +
0.07 cm0.7 mm <br />7.0e-4 m <br /> (0.5 cm5 mm <br />0.005 m <br />) +
deciduous +  and persistent +
0.4 cm4 mm <br />0.004 m <br /> (0.45 cm4.5 mm <br />0.0045 m <br />) +
16 +  and 24 +
obdeltate +  and rhombic +
0.2 cm2 mm <br />0.002 m <br /> (0.35 cm3.5 mm <br />0.0035 m <br />) +
Donald J. Pinkava +
(Engelmann & J. M. Bigelow) F. M. Knuth in C. Backeberg and F. M. Knuth +
not markedly longer +
Opuntia echinocarpa +
proliferating +
flattened +  and cylindric +
Silver cholla +  and golden cholla +
Ariz. +, Calif. +, Nev. +, Mexico (Baja California) +  and Mexico (Sonora) +
50-1700 m +
not red +, , +, suffused with bronze or suffused with rose +, yellow +  and greenish white +
15 cm150 mm <br />0.15 m <br /> (30 cm300 mm <br />0.3 m <br />) +
0.2 cm2 mm <br />0.002 m <br /> (15 cm150 mm <br />0.15 m <br />) +
spiny +  and spineless +
burlike +  and spiny +
indehiscent +
persistent +, long +  and deciduous +
13mm;23mm +
tuberculate +
obconic +  and subspheric +
dry +  and fleshy +
1.1 cm11 mm <br />0.011 m <br /> (2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br />) +
Mojave and Sonoran deserts, desert grasslands, juniper and oak-juniper woodlands, flats, bajadas, canyons, sandy, loam, alluvial to gravelly substrates +
2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br /> (2.3 cm23 mm <br />0.023 m <br />) +
deciduous +
flattened +  and conic +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (3 cm30 mm <br />0.03 m <br />) +
succulent +
tuberculate +
fluted;spheric;depressed-spheric or club-shaped +
tinged color +
sometimes covered by outgrowths of proximal portion of style base or of flower tube wall +  and open +
persistent +  and deciduous +
Flowering spring (Mar–Jun). +
ridgelike +  and nipple--shaped +
in C. Backeberg and F. M. Knuth, Kaktus-ABC, +
3;2;2;30 +
tuberlike +
0.04 cm0.4 mm <br />4.0e-4 m <br /> (1.2 cm12 mm <br />0.012 m <br />) +
0.4 cm4 mm <br />0.004 m <br /> (0.6 cm6 mm <br />0.006 m <br />) +
warped;angular;squarish +
0.35 cm3.5 mm <br />0.0035 m <br /> (0.5 cm5 mm <br />0.005 m <br />) +
deciduous +  and persistent +
conspicuous +
0 (?) +  and 5 (?) +
flattened +
hard +  and rigid +
decurrent +
winged +  and unsegmented +
tuberculate +  and smooth +
40 cm400 mm <br />0.4 m <br /> (50 cm500 mm <br />0.5 m <br />) +
2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br /> (40 cm400 mm <br />0.4 m <br />) +
0.3 cm3 mm <br />0.003 m <br /> (5.5 cm55 mm <br />0.055 m <br />) +
segmented +
woody +  and succulent +
cream +  and light green +
cream +  and light green +
Cactus echinocarpus +, Cylindropuntia wigginsii +  and Opuntia wigginsii +
adventitious +
tuberlike +
epipetric +  and epiphytic +
Cylindropuntia echinocarpa +
Cylindropuntia +
species +
7.5 cm75 mm <br />0.075 m <br /> (12 cm120 mm <br />0.12 m <br />) +
1 cm10 mm <br />0.01 m <br /> (2.5 cm25 mm <br />0.025 m <br />) +
dull +  and glossy +
yellow +  and golden +
1.3 cm13 mm <br />0.013 m <br /> (1.5 cm15 mm <br />0.015 m <br />) +
0.4 cm4 mm <br />0.004 m <br /> (1.3 cm13 mm <br />0.013 m <br />) +
shrub +  and tree +
terrestrial;epiphytic or epipetric +
gray +, yellow +  and tan +