Cylindropuntia leptocaulis

(de Candolle) F. M. Knuth in C. Backeberg and F. M. Knuth

in C. Backeberg and F. M. Knuth, Kaktus-ABC, 122. 1935.

Common names: Desert Christmas cholla Christmas cactus
Illustrated
Basionym: Opuntia leptocaulis de Candolle Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. 17: 118. 1828
Synonyms: Cylindropuntia leptocaulis var. brevispina (Engelma nn) F. M. Knuth Cylindropuntia leptocaulis var. longispina (Engelmann) F. M. Knuth Opuntia fragilis var. frutescens Engelmann Opuntia frutescens Engelmann Opuntia frutescens var. brevispina Engelmann Opuntia frutescens var. longispina Engelmann Opuntia leptocaulis Opuntia leptocaulis var. longispina (Engelmann) A. Berger Opuntia leptocaulis var. vaginata (Engelmann) S. Watson Opuntia vaginata
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 4. Treatment on page 105. Mentioned on page 101, 104.

Shrubs or small trees, sparingly to densely branched, 0.5–1.8 m, usually bearing similar, commonly spineless terminal branchlets arranged at right angles along major axes. Stem segments usually alternate, gray-green or purplish, 2–8 × 0.3–0.5 cm; tubercles linear, drying as elongate, riblike wrinkles, 1.1–2 (–3) cm; areoles broadly elliptic, (1–) 1.5–3.5 × 0.7–2 mm; wool white to yellow, aging gray. Spines 0–1 (–3) per areole, usually in apical areoles to well distributed, erect, flexible, straight or arching upward or downward, redbrown with gray to whitish coat, tips yellow, aging redbrown, terete, angular-flattened basally, the longest (4–) 14–45 mm; sheaths gray to purple-gray with yellow to redbrown tips or yellow throughout. Glochids in adaxial tuft or crescent to encircling areole, yellow or reddish-brown, 1–3 (–5) mm. Flowers: inner tepals pale-yellow to greenish yellow, sometimes tipped red, narrowly obovate, 5–8 mm, acute, apiculate; filaments greenish yellow; anthers yellow; style yellow; stigma lobes greenish yellow. Fruits occasionally proliferating, yellow to scarlet (rarely green, sometimes tinged purple, becoming yellow), sometimes stipitate, obovoid, 9–15 (–27) × 6–7 (–12) mm, fleshy, smooth, spineless; umbilicus 2–4 mm deep; areoles 16–20. Seeds pale-yellow, suborbicular to squarish and crenate in outline, warped, 3–4.5 mm diam., sides smooth, each with 1–3 large depressions; girdle smooth or with very narrow ridge. 2n = 22, 33, 44.


Phenology: Flowering spring–early summer, sometimes fall (Mar–Aug, Oct).
Habitat: Deserts, grasslands, chaparrals, oak-juniper woodlands, flats, bajadas and slopes, sandy, loamy to gravelly substrates
Elevation: 40-1500 m

Distribution

V4 196-distribution-map.gif

Ariz., N.Mex., Okla., Tex., Mexico (Chihuahua), Mexico (Coahuila), Mexico (Durango), Mexico (Nuevo León), Mexico (Sonora), Mexico (Tamaulipas), Mexico (Zacatecas)

Discussion

Cylindropuntia leptocaulis forms hybrids with C. acanthocarpa var. major (see 3. C. ×tetracantha), C. arbuscula, C. fulgida, C. kleiniae, C. spinosior, C. versicolor (see discussion under C. ×tetracantha), and C. whipplei. Hybrids in central Arizona have flowers intermediate in size to the parents, narrow tuberculate stems bearing 0–1(–2) major spines per areole, and tuberculate, spineless, orange to red fruits. The chromosome number reported for hybrids is 2n = 22.

Selected References

None.

Lower Taxa

None.
44 +, 33 +  and 22 +
cushionlike +
0.1 cm1 mm <br />0.001 m <br /> (0.15 cm1.5 mm <br />0.0015 m <br />) +
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 +
0.15 cm1.5 mm <br />0.0015 m <br /> (0.35 cm3.5 mm <br />0.0035 m <br />) +
16 +  and 20 +
crescent +
0.07 cm0.7 mm <br />7.0e-4 m <br /> (0.2 cm2 mm <br />0.002 m <br />) +
Donald J. Pinkava +
(de Candolle) F. M. Knuth in C. Backeberg and F. M. Knuth +
Opuntia leptocaulis +
proliferating +
flattened +  and cylindric +
distributed +
gray +  and whitish +
straight +
downward +, arching +  and erect +
Desert Christmas cholla +  and Christmas cactus +
Ariz. +, N.Mex. +, Okla. +, Tex. +, Mexico (Chihuahua) +, Mexico (Coahuila) +, Mexico (Durango) +, Mexico (Nuevo León) +, Mexico (Sonora) +, Mexico (Tamaulipas) +  and Mexico (Zacatecas) +
40-1500 m +
greenish yellow +
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 />) +
spineless +  and stipitate +
1.5 cm15 mm <br />0.015 m <br /> (2.7 cm27 mm <br />0.027 m <br />) +
0.7 cm7 mm <br />0.007 m <br /> (1.2 cm12 mm <br />0.012 m <br />) +
yellow;scarlet +
indehiscent +
persistent +, long +  and deciduous +
9mm;15mm +
proliferating +
obovoid +
0.6 cm6 mm <br />0.006 m <br /> (0.7 cm7 mm <br />0.007 m <br />) +
with very narrow ridge +  and smooth +
0.3 cm3 mm <br />0.003 m <br /> (0.5 cm5 mm <br />0.005 m <br />) +
0.1 cm1 mm <br />0.001 m <br /> (0.3 cm3 mm <br />0.003 m <br />) +
Deserts, grasslands, chaparrals, oak-juniper woodlands, flats, bajadas and slopes, sandy, loamy to gravelly substrates +
acute +  and obovate +
0.5 cm5 mm <br />0.005 m <br /> (0.8 cm8 mm <br />0.008 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–early summer, sometimes fall (Mar–Aug, Oct). +
ridgelike +  and nipple--shaped +
in C. Backeberg and F. M. Knuth, Kaktus-ABC, +
3;2;2;30 +
tuberlike +
0.3 cm3 mm <br />0.003 m <br /> (0.45 cm4.5 mm <br />0.0045 m <br />) +
warped;crenate;suborbicular;squarish +
Illustrated +
deciduous +  and persistent +
conspicuous +
0 (?) +  and 1 (?) +
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 />) +
purplish +  and gray-green +
2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br /> (8 cm80 mm <br />0.08 m <br />) +
0.3 cm3 mm <br />0.003 m <br /> (0.5 cm5 mm <br />0.005 m <br />) +
segmented +
woody +  and succulent +
greenish yellow +
Cylindropuntia leptocaulis var. brevispina +, Cylindropuntia leptocaulis var. longispina +, Opuntia fragilis var. frutescens +, Opuntia frutescens +, Opuntia frutescens var. brevispina +, Opuntia frutescens var. longispina +, Opuntia leptocaulis +, Opuntia leptocaulis var. longispina +, Opuntia leptocaulis var. vaginata +  and Opuntia vaginata +
adventitious +
tuberlike +
epipetric +  and epiphytic +
Cylindropuntia leptocaulis +
Cylindropuntia +
species +
dull +  and glossy +
0.4 cm4 mm <br />0.004 m <br /> (1.4 cm14 mm <br />0.014 m <br />) +
yellow +  and redbrown +
longest +
angular-flattened +  and terete +
1.4 cm14 mm <br />0.014 m <br /> (4.5 cm45 mm <br />0.045 m <br />) +
2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br /> (3 cm30 mm <br />0.03 m <br />) +
1.1 cm11 mm <br />0.011 m <br /> (2 cm20 mm <br />0.02 m <br />) +
0.2 cm2 mm <br />0.002 m <br /> (0.4 cm4 mm <br />0.004 m <br />) +
tree +  and shrub +
terrestrial;epiphytic or epipetric +
gray +, white +  and yellow +