Plant Image
Plant - summer
Granite Mtn - Tr 308 - Sue Smith

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Opuntia whipplei - whipple cholla

Plant Form: Cacti

Family: Cactaceae

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Flower buds
Granite Mtn - Tr 261
Marv Mazur
Granite Mtn - Tr 308
Sue Smith
Granite Mtn - Tr 345
Sue Smith
Granite Mtn - Tr 261
Marv Mazur
Plant Description

Origin: Native
General Desc: An upright cactus with one to several main stems and numerous short stem segments. Stems are cylindrical, 2 to 12 inches long, 1/2 inch thick and covered with tubercles or small, wart-like projections.
Height: 2 to 4-1/2 feet     Width: Varies - can grow in thick groups


Plant Communities: Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland
Elevation: 4500 - 7000 feet


Color: Yellow     Flowering Period: Jun - Jul
Description: Flowers are pale yellow, 1 inch wide and in groups of three.


Stem Color: Green to purple     Number of Stems:     Stem Shape:     Stems Segmented:     Stem Surface:
Stem Description: Stems are segmented, each segment is 1 to 6 inches long with oval bumps (tubercles) that are longer than they are wide; spines do not obscure the color of the stems; there are more spines towards the tip of the stems.

Areoles (structures unique to cacti, found on the stems, areas from which spines, flowers and fruits emerge)

Areole Description:
Spine Color: White to pinkish tan     Spines Hooked:    
Spine Description: Needlelike; 7 to 14 spines per areole with one long spine in cluster to 2 inches long.


Fruit Color: Yellow   
Fruit Notes: Spineless, nearly round to egg-shapped fruit to 1-1/4 inches long and 3/4 inch wide.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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