|Teddy Bear Cholla are members of the
Opuntia genus, a group which includes other spiny cacti like prickly
Four characteristics distinguish Opuntia from other cactus:
Teddy Bear Cholla are a distinctive cactus with spines so
densely packed it almost
fuzzy (though fuzzy is not an adjective you'd typically use to describe
this cholla). The Teddy Bear has a central trunk which grows from 3 to 5
feet in height with numerous, segmented side branches which grow near
the top. The spines are lightly colored, very sharp and about 1" in
length. As they age, the spines turn brown or black.
|They have jointed
The areoles have minute barbed spines called glochids that are
Rudimentary leaves are present on new joints
Their seeds have a pale covering called an aril
The Teddy Bear Cholla rarely
produces viable seeds. It reproduces almost entirely by dropping
segments which in turn take root.
The Teddy Bear Cholla grows in low elevation desert
areas below 3000 feet. The plant blooms in the spring and produces green
or yellow flowers which are 1.5 " wide, followed by egg-shaped fruit.
Pack rats often pile the joints of this cholla around the entrance to
burrows to ward off predators.