Cylindropuntia arbuscula

Engelmann 1857. Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 3: 309.

Lectotype specimen; Herbarium specimen; Herbarium specimen; Herbarium specimen; Herbarium specimen; Herbarium specimen (C. ×neoarbuscula); Herbarium specimen (C. ×neoarbuscula); Herbarium specimen (C. ×vivipara); Drawing (Britton and Rose, 1919, plate VI)

Original species description

Flora of North America treatment

What is Cylindropuntia arbuscula?

Cylindropuntia arbuscula is a cholla that ranges from central Arizona south into Sonora, Mexico. It occurs in Sonoran desert flats, bajadas, and scrub from 300 to 1000 m elevation.


C. arbuscula is a tree or shrub growing up to 3 m tall. The stems are 6 to 11 cm long by 0.5 to 3 cm wide with 0 to 2 spines per areole. The spines, which often point downward, are yellow or red-brown, aging black, with yellowish sheaths. C. arbuscula has small flowers that can be green to pale reddish-orange. The filaments are dark green to bronze. The style is white and sometimes light orange distally. The stigma is pale green. The fruits are green, fleshy, and mostly spineless. C. arbuscula is hexaploid (2n = 66).

C. arbuscula hybridizes with C. spinosior (C. ×neoarbuscula), C versicolor (C. ×vivipara), and C. leptocaulis (2n = 55).

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