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Cane Cholla

Natural History

Cane Cholla is a members of the Opuntia genus, a group which includes other spiny cacti like prickly pear. It grows to 8 feet in height and has tubular segments that grow to 1 inch in diameter and 12 inches in length, each covered with spines to 3/8 inches in length. It is similar in appearance to the Buckhorn or Staghorn Cholla, but the segments are spinier and tend to droop towards the ground. The cactus grows in desert grasslands and mountainsides at elevations between 1000 - 5000 feet.

Cane Cholla fruit was a food source for Native Americans who ate it raw or cooked.

Cane Cholla blooms between May and June and produces bright flowers to 3 inches wide that range in color from white, yellow, red or purple. After flowering, the plants produce yellow, egg-shaped fruit to 1.75 inches in length and 1 inch in diameter. Fruits remain on the cactus throughout the winter.

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