Cylindropuntia versicolor     
Staghorn cholla   
Cactaceae Family     

Compiled by the Master Gardeners
of the University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension.


Form: segmented cactus,; tree-like open cluster of branches
Seasonality: evergreen
cactus flower
flower detail
Size: 3-12ft, spread 3-9ft
Leaves: very small scale-type leaves on flush on new growth, lost later; joints are narrow (4-12in long, 3/4in thick); spines are relatively sparse
Flowers: on joint ends, simple, 1in long; bloom in spring; color may be lime green, yellow, orange, bronze or magenta
Fruit: 1-2in long, barrel-shaped shriveled green fruit held on terminal portion of joints
Stems/Trunks: may form a low trunk to 4in in diameter; joints are sausage-shaped
Range/Origin: elevations from 2000-3000ft
Hardiness: to mid teens


close-up of fruit
ripening fruit


Staghorn cholla
typical form of Cylindropuntia versicolor
most popular of the chollas
hybridizes easily with other chollas, difficult to differentiate species

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This page was first created August 2, 2002 and last modified January 13, 2006.

Web page design and photographs by Toni Moore, Master Gardener
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