[Cylindropuntia thurberi ssp. versicolor , more]
Trees or shrubs
, openly branching at acute angles, to 2 m. Stem segments
whorled or subwhorled, purple to green-purple, 4-18 × 1-2 cm; tubercles prominent, elongate-oval, 1-2(-2.5) cm; areoles subcircular, 3.5-4 mm diam.; wool tan to brown, aging gray. Spines
6-8 per areole (1-2 bristlelike spines) increasing with time, well distributed along stem, slightly interlacing with spines of adjacent areoles, short; abaxial spines usually reflexed, whitish, pinkish to red-brown, lightly flattened, the longest 10-18 mm; adaxial spines erect or spreading, rich red-brown, gray coated basally, subterete, 6-11 mm; sheaths grayish, tipped brown or yellow to golden Glochids
in small adaxial tuft or crescent, dark yellow, to 1 mm. Flowers:
inner tepals yellow-green, yellow to gold or bronze, or red to rose or magenta, spatulate, apiculate; filaments yellowish green; anthers yellow; style whitish to pale bronze; stigma lobes whitish. Fruits
often proliferating, yellowish green or tinged red to purple, often stipitate, obovate, 25-40 × 10-20 mm, leathery-fleshy, tuberculate or smooth, essentially spineless; tubercles prominent, at first, subequal in length or proximal ones longer, fertile ones swelling and becoming smooth; umbilicus to 9 mm deep; areoles 20-30. Seeds
yellowish, polygonal in outline, warped, 3.5-5.5 × 2.5-5 mm, sides nearly flattened with depressions and protrusions to angular subspheric; girdle smooth or in a groove. 2n
= 22. Flowering spring (Apr-Jun). Sonoran Desert, desert scrub, flats, washes, rocky hillsides, canyons; 600-1300 m; Ariz.; Mexico (Sonora). Cylindropuntia versicolor
forms hybrids with C. acanthocarpa
var. major, C. arbuscula
(= C. ×vivipara
), C. leptocaulis
(see discussion under 3. C.
), and C. spinosior
(= C. ×grantiorum
P. V. Heath). Cylindropuntia ×grantiorum
, found in eastern to south-central Arizona, is intermediate between the parental species in values for the number of spines per stem areole, stem segment diameter and color, and fruit tubercles. The hybrids between C. versicolor
and C. acanthocarpa
, which occur in south-central Arizona, have fleshy, tuberculate fruits, often with one or two short permanent spines at apex and longer and more numerous spines per stem areole. Cylindropuntia versicolor
itself may be of hybrid origin.
Plant: tree or shrub, openly branching at acute angles, to 2 m tall; STEM segments purple to green-purple, 4-18 cm long, 1-2 cm in diam.; tubercles prominent, elongate-oval, 1-2(-2.5) cm long. AREOLES tan- to brown-felty, aging gray, subcircular, 3.5-4 mm in diam Leaves: SPINES well distributed along stem, slightly interlacing, 6-8 per areole (more numerous in older areoles), with 0-2 bristle-spines, the sheaths grayish tipped brown, yellow to golden; distal spines rich red-brown, gray-coated below, erect-spreading, subterete, 6-11 mm long; basal spines whitish, pinkish to red brown, mostly reflexed, lightly flattened, longest 10-18 mm long. GLOCHIDS dark yellow, in a small apical tuft or crescent, to 1 mm long Flowers: inner tepals yellow-green, yellow to gold and bronze or red to rose or magenta, spatulate, apiculate, 20-25 mm long; filaments yellowish green, the anthers yellow; style whitish to pale bronze; stigmas whitish Fruit: yellowish green or tinged red to purple, leathery-fleshy, obovate and often stipitate, essentially spineless, often proliferating, 2.5-4 cm long, 1-2 cm in diam., at first the tubercles prominent, subequal in length or lower ones longer, but swelling and becoming smooth if fertile, the umbilicus to 9 mm deep; areoles 20-30. SEEDS 3.5-5.5 mm long, 2.5-5 mm wide, yellowish, polygonal in outline, warped, the sides nearly flat with depressions and protrusions to angular subspheric, the girdle smooth or in groove Misc: Desert flats, washes to rocky hillsides and canyons, desertscrub; 600-1300 m (1900-4300 ft); Apr-Jun REFERENCES: Pinkava, Donald J. 1999. Cactaceae. Ariz. – Nev. Acad. Sci. 32(1).