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Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa)
Cactus Around Las Vegas, Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa)

General: Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa) is an upright, branched, cylindrical-stemmed cactus with long stem segments and yellow spines. This cholla is similar to Silver Cholla, but in Buckhorn Cholla, the mature stem segments generally are longer than 6 inches, while those of Silver Cholla are less than 4-inches long.

Buckhorn Cholla is a common component of vegetation communities on well-drained sandy, gravelly, and rocky soils on upper bajadas and moderate slopes into the lower mountains in the Upper Sonoran (Mojave Desert Scrub and Pinyon-Juniper Woodland) life zone.

Around Las Vegas, Buckhorn Cholla is quite common and easy to see along the main highway (West Charleston Blvd.) and Scenic Loop Road at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia [Opuntia] acanthocarpa)

Family: Cactus (Cactaceae).

Other Names: Opuntia acanthocarpa.

Plant Form: Upright shrub, many open branches.

Height: Usually to about 5 feet; to 10 feet.

Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa)

Trunk: Present as one or several robust stem segments (not a true trunk).

Stems: Divided into segments; cylindrical; about 1-inch diameter.

Stem Surface: tuberclated; tubercles about 3 times longer than wide.

Spines: Central: about 12 to 20; about 2-inches long, generally yellowish, sheath present.

Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa)

Glochids: Absent.

Flowers: Blooms early summer. Inflorescence: solitary at tips of stems. Flowers: yellow with purplish veins and purplish tips; filaments red; anthers yellow; to about 3-inches across.

Fruit: dry, spiny; about 1/2-inch diameter.

Seeds: many; black.

Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa)

Habitat: Dry, well-drained sandy, gravelly, and rocky soils on upper bajadas and moderate slopes in the lower mountains.

Distribution: Southern California, southern Nevada, and Arizona.

Elevation: To about 5,000 feet.

Comments:

Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa)

Buckhorn Cholla in bloom.

Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa)

Buckhorn Cholla stems with flower.

Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa)

Close up of Buckhorn Cholla stem.

Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa)

Buckhorn Cholla flowers are yellow with a tinge of purplish and red filaments.

Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa)

Buckhorn Cholla flowers.

Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa)

Buckhorn Cholla flowers are sometime more orange.

Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa)

Buckhorn Cholla flower where the anthers (yellow pollen sacks) have been chewed off, showing the red filaments.

Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa)

Deciduous cactus leaves.

Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa)

Deciduous cactus leaves.

Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa)

Deciduous cactus leaves and flower buds.

Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia [Opuntia] acanthocarpa) Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia [Opuntia] acanthocarpa)
Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia [Opuntia] acanthocarpa) Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia [Opuntia] acanthocarpa)
Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia [Opuntia] acanthocarpa) Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia [Opuntia] acanthocarpa)
Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia [Opuntia] acanthocarpa) Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia [Opuntia] acanthocarpa)
Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia [Opuntia] acanthocarpa) Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia [Opuntia] acanthocarpa)
Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia [Opuntia] acanthocarpa) Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia [Opuntia] acanthocarpa)
Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia [Opuntia] acanthocarpa) Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia [Opuntia] acanthocarpa)
Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia [Opuntia] acanthocarpa) more to come ...

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
© 2014 Jim Boone; Last updated 101101

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