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Hybrid Cholla (Cylindropuntia whipplei x echinocarpa)
Cactus Around Las Vegas, Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Hybrid Cholla (Cylindropuntia spp)

This population of upright cholla cactus along Highway 156 (Lee Canyon Road) on the northeast side of the Spring Mountains resembles Whipple Cholla (Cylindropuntia whipplei), but has spiny fruit like Silver Cholla (Cylindropuntia echinocarpa) and Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa).

Cholla are known to hybridize, so it is not surprising that there is such a population, but this is interesting because the population might be isolated from other cholla populations.

Hybrids between C. whipplei and C. acanthocarpa have been referred to as Cylindropuntia congesta.

Hybrids between C. whipplei and C. echinocarpa have been referred to as Cylindropuntia multigeniculata, which is the same as the rare Blue Diamond Cholla. Blue Diamond Cholla, however, has a very different growth form.

Hybrid Cholla (Cylindropuntia spp)
The upright form with short branches is typical of Whipple Cholla, as is the relatively high elevation where this population is located.
Hybrid Cholla (Cylindropuntia spp)
The flowers are typical of Whipple Cholla:
green with a tinge of red.
Hybrid Cholla (Cylindropuntia spp)
Developing fruits, however, have spines, which is typical of Silver Cholla. Cholla spines are sometimes deciduous in Whipple Cholla, ...
Hybrid Cholla (Cylindropuntia spp)
... but they remain as the fruits develop,
and ...
Hybrid Cholla (Cylindropuntia spp)
... remain in the dried fruit like Silver Cholla
more to come ...

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
copyright; Last updated 141116

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