jumping cholla, more...
[Opuntia fulgida var. mamillata (Schott ex Engelm.) Coult., more]
Stem segments appearing spineless or nearly so from afar, exposing strongly mammillate tubercles beneath. Spines of stems not or little interlaced with spines of adjacent areoles, longest usually 1-2 cm; sheaths tightly fitting. 2n = 22. Flowering spring-fall (Apr-Aug, Oct). Sonoran desert scrub, sandy flats, rocky slopes, rolling hills; 200-1100 m; Ariz.; Mexico (Baja California, Sinaloa, Sonora). A morphotype with crested stems from south-central Arizona is commonly cultivated as the boxing-glove cactus.
SPINES: of stems not or but little interlaced, the largest spines usually 1-2 cm, their sheaths tight-fitting. STEM: segments appearing spineless or nearly so from afar, obviously exposing the strongly mammillate tubercles. 2n = 22. NOTES: See also parent taxon. Sandy desert flats to rocky slopes, rolling hills; Gila, Maricopa, Pima, Pinal cos.; 200-1100 m (600-3600 ft); Apr-Aug, Oct; Sin., Son., ne Gulf of CA islands in Mex. A crested morph from Pinal Co. is commonly cultivated as the Boxing-glove Cholla. REFERENCES: Pinkava, Donald J. 1999. Cactaceae. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. 32(1).
Benson 1982, Felger 2000, FNA 2003, Kearney and Peebles 1969, Pinkava 1999
Common Name: jumping cholla Duration: Perennial Protected Status: Salvage restriced status in Arizona. Spines: Spines of stems not or only a little interlaced with the tubercles exposed beneath, the largest spines are usually 1-2 cm long with their sheaths tight-fitting, there are 2-6 per areole and these are 0.5-3 cm long slender, inconspicuous, and sparse. Flowers: Flower 2 cm diameter with the inner tepals usually reflexed and pink to magenta, sometimes white with lavender streaks, wedge shaped to oblong, 6-9 mm long and broad, apically rounded and minutely toothed, bearing filaments that are pale pink to magenta, with white to cream anthers, a pinkish style, and stigma lobes that are whitish to pale yellow. Fruits: Fruits proliferating, forming long pendent chains that branch, gray-green and fleshy at maturity, smooth, obovoid to shallowly tuberculate but usually spineless, the fruits are 2.5-3 cm long and 2-2.5 cm in diameter but continue to grow after the first ye Ecology: Found in Sonoran desert scrub, desert grasslands, rocky slopes, rolling hills, and flats, sandy or gravelly soils from 1,000-2,500 ft (305-762 m). Notes: Predominantly green, low, squatty tree, much lower and spreading proportionately much farther than var. fulgida. Tubercles more prominent than in var. fulgida. Occurs with the typical plant but often replaces the latter at the higher elevations. Cattle relish the fruits of both forms and will eat the joints if spines are scorched. The reticulate stems are used in the manufacture of small articles of furniture, such as lamps and picture frames. A morphotype with crested stems from south-central Arizona is commonly cultivated as the boxing-glove cactus. Ethnobotany: Specific use of the sub-species is unknown, however the species was used by the Papago as a staple food, the buds, fruits and joints were pit baked and eaten. Etymology: Cylindropuntia is from Greek kylindros or a cylinder, plus the genus Opuntia, while fulgida might mean resembling something shiny, while mamillata means covered in nipple-like protuberences. Synonyms: Opuntia fulgida var. mamillata, Opuntia mamillata Editor: LCrumbacher, 2010