Trees 1-3 m; trunk divaricately branching; crown many branch-ed, spreading. Stem segments whorled or subwhorled, gray-green, often drying blackish, ± spiny throughout, terminal ones easily dislodged, 6-16(-23) × 2-3.5 cm; tubercles salient, broadly oval, 0.8-1.3(-1.9) cm; areoles obdeltate, 5-7(-10) × 2.5-4 mm; wool gold to tan, aging gray to black. Spines 0-12(-18) per areole, at most areoles to nearly absent, yellowish, sometimes also pale pinkish, aging brown, interlaced or not with spines of adjacent areoles; abaxial spines erect to deflexed, spreading, flattened basally, the longest to 3.5 cm; adaxial spines erect or spreading, terete to subterete, longest to 2.5 cm; sheaths uniformly whitish, yellowish to golden, baggy. Glochids in adaxial tuft, sometimes also scattered along areole margins, yellow, 1-3 mm. Flowers: inner tepals usually reflexed, pink to magenta, obovate to ligulate, 12-16 mm, apiculate emarginate; filaments pale pink to magenta; anthers white to cream; style pinkish; stigma lobes whitish to pale yellow. Fruits proliferating, forming long, branching, pendent chains, at maturity gray-green, often stipitate, obconic, fleshy, shallowly tuberculate, usually spineless; basal fruits 32-55 × 23-45 mm; terminal fruits 2-3.3 × 1.3-2.3 cm; tubercles becoming obscure; umbilicus to 8 mm deep; areoles 18-35. Seeds pale yellow to brownish, angular to very irregular in outline, warped, 1.9 × 1.5-3.5 mm, sides with 1-2 large depressions, hilum pointed; girdle smooth.
Intermediates are known between the varieties, which are largely sympatric in northern portion of range of the species.
Cylindropuntia fulgida forms hybrids with C. spinosior (see 6. C. ×kelvinensis) and C. leptocaulis. Hybrids, which are rare in south-central Arizona, have stems of intermediate diameter, (0-)1-5 spines per areole, one spine much longer than others, and spineless, yellowing, and often reddish fruits in chains of four to six, or more.
Plant: Tree 1-3 m tall, the trunks divaricately branching, the crown much-branched, spreading; STEM segments gray-green, often drying blackish, the terminal ones easily dislodged, 6-16(-23) cm long, 2-3.5 cm in diam.; tubercles salient, broadly oval, 8-13(-19) mm long. AREOLES gold- to tan-felty, aging gray to black, obdeltoid, 5-7(-10) mm long, 2.5-4 mm wide Leaves: SPINES 0-12(-18) per areole, yellowish, sometimes also pale pinkish, aging brown, interlaced or not; sheaths uniformly whitish, yellowish to golden, baggy; distal spines erect-spreading, terete to subterete, largest spine to 3 cm long; basal spines erect to deflexed, spreading, flattened basally, the largest to 3.5 cm long. GLOCHIDS yellow, in an apical tuft, sometimes also scattered along areole margins, 1-3 mm long Flowers: opening in late afternoon or evening; inner tepals pink to magenta, obovate to ligulate, apiculate emarginate, 12-16 mm long; filaments pale pink to magenta, the anthers white to cream; style pinkish; stigmas whitish to pale yellow Fruit: gray-green, obconic, often stipitate, proliferating, forming long, branching, pendulous chains, fleshy, spineless, the tubercles becoming obscure, with umbilicus to 8 mm deep; basal fruits 32-55 long, 23-45 mm in diam.; terminal fruits 20-33 mm long, 13-23 mm in diam.; areoles 18-35; SEEDS 1.8-5.5 mm long, 1.5-.5 mm wide, pale yellow to brownish, in a gelatinous mass, angular to very irregular in outline, warped, the sides smooth, each with 1-2 large depressions, girdle smooth, the hilum region pointed Misc: Sandy desert flats to rocky slopes of rolling hillsides; 200-1100 m (600-3600 ft); Apr-Sep REFERENCES: Pinkava, Donald J. 1999. Cactaceae. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. 32(1).
Benson 1982, Pinkava 1999
Common Name: jumping cholla Duration: Perennial Protected Status: Salvage restriced status in Arizona. Spines: Areoles gold to tan felty but aging gray to black, obdeltoid, 5-7 mm long by 2.5-4 mm wide. Bearing spines 0-12 per areole, yellowish, aging brown, with uniformly whitish sheaths, the upper spines erect and tending to spread in all directions, the sheaths are loose, terete to subterete,with the largest to 3 cm long. The basal spines erect to deflexed but basally flattened, the largest to 3.5 cm long with yellow glochids in an apical tuft and scattered along areole margins, these 1-3 mm. Flowers: Opening in late afternoon or evening with pink to magenta inner tepals, these obovate to strap like and with a small notch at the tip, the tepals 12-16 mm long. The filaments pale pink to magenta with white to cream anthers, a pinkish style and whitish to pale yellow stigmas. Fruits: Gray green and obconic, borne on a stalk and forming long pendulous chains that branch, fleshy and spineless with tubercles becoming obscure. The basal fruits are 32-55 mm long by 23-45 mm wide, with terminal fruits 20-33 mm long by 12-23 mm diameter, bot Ecology: Found on sandy flats, rocky slopes, and rolling hillsides from 500-4,000 ft (152-1219 m), flowers April-Sept. Notes: The fruit can persist for up to 22 + years, with the seeds remaining viable no matter how many years the fruits persist on the plants, and even after the fruits have fallen and taken root. There are two varieties in Arizona: var. fulgida and var. mamilla Ethnobotany: The buds were pit baked and eaten as a staple food, as were the young shoots which were eaten in summer. Etymology: Cylindropuntia is from Greek kylindros or a cylinder, plus the genus Opuntia, while fulgida might mean resembling something shiny. Synonyms: Opuntia fulgida Editor: SBuckley, 2010