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CYLINDROPUNTIA fulgida

Image of Cylindropuntia fulgida

Family

Cactaceae

Botanical Name

CYLINDROPUNTIA fulgida

Plant Common Name

Chainfruit Cholla, Jumping Cholla

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

An upright branching cactus with warty, spined stems, the chainfruit cholla often displays drooping, segmented stem clusters of green fruits. This succulent cactus tolerates mild subfreezing temperatures and excessive drought and heat in summer. Its native to central Arizona southward into the Mexican state of Sonora. If you brush up against this cactus, the segmented fruits left on the stems pop or "jump" off.

Rather than display any leaves, this cactus photosynthesizes light in its bumpy stems. As the plant ages and attain size, its singular trunk displays scaly dark brown bark. Numerous upright branches fork off from the top of the trunk. The stems are covered in overlapping clusters of yellow-silver spines. With the stem and spines, the chainfruit cholla looks bluish-green to yellow-green. Anytime from late spring to midsummer, bold rosy-pink flowers occur on stem joint tips or on old, retained fruits. The blossoms are followed by oval to pear-shaped green fruits that cling to the stems, looking like chains. The fruits remain on the stems, creating segments and a more picturesque, irregular plant silhouette.

Grow chainfruit cholla in full to partial sun in a very well-drained sandy to sandy loam soil. A gritty soil enriched with organic matter also suffices. During the intense light and heat of summer, water to keep the soil barely moist and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. From fall to spring, keep the soil even drier. Grow the chainfruit cholla in a mixed succulent border or rockery as a vertical accent specimen. When the plant is small and young, it may be grown as a houseplant or in a patio container. It is an excellent addition to a naturalistic desert or xeriscape landscape.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 12

  • Sunset Zone

    10, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23

  • Plant Type

    Cactus or Succulent

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    4'-10' / 1.2m - 3.0m

  • Width

    3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Southwestern United States, Mexico

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Xeric/Desert

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Hot Pink, Rose, Bronze

  • Fruit Color

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Gray Green, Chocolate

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No