SPINES: of stems interlaced, the largest spines usually 2.5-3 cm long, their sheaths baggy. STEM: appearing spiny from afar, obscuring the strongly mammillate tubercles beneath. 2n = 22, 33. NOTES: See also parent taxon. Sandy desert flats to rocky slopes of rolling hillsides; Cochise, Gila, Maricopa, Pima, Pinal, Yavapai, Yuma cos.; 300-1100 m (1000-3600 ft); Apr-Sep; Son. in Mex. REFERENCES: Pinkava, Donald J. 1999. Cactaceae. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. 32(1).
Common Name: jumping cholla Duration: Perennial Protected Status: Salvage restriced status in Arizona. General: Similar to C. fulgida, with spines apparent from afar obscuring the strongly mammillate tubercles beneath, the segments are whorled to subwhorled and gray-green, often drying blackish, more or less spiny throughout with the terminal ones easily dislodged, these 6 -16 cm long and 2-3.5 cm wide, with broadly oval tubercles, these 12-16 mm long and 6 mm wide by 4.5-6 mm high. Younger joints not markedly weak or drooping with considerable woody tissue after first year. Spines: Bearing 6-12 spines per areole, these yellowish but aging brown, usually interlaced with spines of adjacent areoles. The abaxial spines erect to deflexed, spreading and flattened basally, the longest to 3.5 cm. The adaxial spines erect or spreading with the longest to 2.5 cm, the sheaths uniformly whitish, yellowish to golden, baggy. Glochids in adaxial tuft, sometimes scattered along areole margins, yellow, aging gray to black, 1-3 mm. Flowers: The flower approximately 2 cm diameter, with inner tepals usually reflexed and pink to magenta but sometimes white with lavender streaks, wedge shaped to oblong, 3-6 mm long by 3 mm broad, the filaments pale pink to magenta with white to cream anthers, a pinkish style and stigma lobes that are whitish to pale yellow. Fruits: Fruits proliferating and forming long pendent chains that branch, at maturity they are gray-green and fleshy, the individual fruits smooth, obovoid, or shallowly tuberculate and usually spineless, these 2.5-3 cm long and 2-2.5 cm diameter, usually continu Ecology: Found in sandy desert flats to rocky slopes of rolling hillsides from 1,000-3,500 ft (rarely to 4,500), (305-1067 (1372) m), flowering April-September. Notes: Differs from primarily from C. fulgida in that the tubercles are smaller, and that this variety forms extensive orchard-like forests. Differs from var. mamillata in that the spines are dense and conspicuous, where the spines on var. mamillata are slender and inconspicuous. Intermediates are known between the varieties, which are largely sympatric in the northern portion of the species- range. Cylindropuntia fulgida forms hybrids with C. spinosior and C. leptocaulis. Hybrids, which are rare in south-central Arizona, have stems of intermediate diameter, 1-5 spines per areole, one spine much longer than others, and spineless, yellowing, and often reddish fruits in chains of 4-6 or more. 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. Synonyms: Opuntia fulgida, Opuntia fulgida var. fulgida Editor: LCrumbacher, 2010