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Cylindropuntia bigelovii

Higher Taxonomy
Family: CactaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb, shrub, tree, generally fleshy. Stem: cylindric to spheric, or flat; surface smooth, tubercled, or ribbed (grooved); nodal areoles bearing flowers. Leaf: generally 0 or early-deciduous, flat to +- cylindric. Spines: areoles generally with central, radial spines, occasionally with glochids. Flower: generally 1 per areole, bisexual [unisexual], sessile, radial [bilateral]; perianth parts generally many [5], scale-like to petal-like; stamens many; ovary inferior [superior], style 1, stigma lobes generally several [many]. Fruit: dry to fleshy or juicy, indehiscent to variously dehiscent, spiny, scaly, or naked; tubercled or smooth. Seed: generally many, occasionally 0--few.
Genera In Family: +- 125 genera, +- 1800 species: America (especially deserts), Africa; many cultivated, some edible. Note: Spines smaller, fewer (0) in shade forms; yellow spines blacken in age. Introduced species increasingly escape cultivation. Hybridization common in some genera. Taxa of Escobaria in TJM (1993) moved to Coryphantha.
eFlora Treatment Author: Bruce D. Parfitt, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Bruce D. Parfitt, Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: CylindropuntiaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: CHOLLA
Habit: Shrub or small tree, erect to decumbent, many-branched. Stem: regularly segmented, segments generally < 50 cm, < 5 cm diam, cylindric, fleshy, glabrous; ribs generally 0; tubercles generally elongate. Leaf: conic to cylindric, deciduous. Spines: 1--many per areole, < 2 mm diam, generally needle-shaped, smooth, straight, tip smooth or barbed, epidermis separating as a papery sheath; central spines generally not distinct from radial spines; glochids generally numerous in each areole. Flower: lateral to terminal, from distal portion of areole, 1.8--8 cm diam; perianth yellow, yellow-green, orange-yellow, to bronze, pink, or red; ovary glabrous, spines 0--many, glochids many in each areole, scales 0. Fruit: indehiscent; spheric or cylindric to obconic, dry or fleshy to leathery in age, green to dark yellow, glabrous, spiny or spines 0. Seed: 1.9--7 mm, flattened to +- spheric, surface smooth to angular, within an aril, bony and +- white when dry.
Species In Genus: 36 species: America. Etymology: (Cylindric Opuntia) Note: Hybridization common. Young buds of some species used for food, many species for ornament. Cylindropuntia chuckwallensis newly described, added as native.
eFlora Treatment Author: Marc Baker, Bruce D. Parfitt & Jon Rebman

Cylindropuntia bigelovii (Engelm.) F.M. Knuth
Habit: Plant 1--2 m. Stem: trunk generally 1; main branches few, short, spreading; terminal segments generally < 15 cm, 3--5 cm diam, easily detached; tubercles 4--11 mm, < 3 mm high. Spines: 4--12, < 2.5 cm, pale yellow-brown, dark brown in age, sheath translucent to pale brown. Flower: inner perianth < 4 cm, pale yellow or light green to +- white; filaments green. Fruit: leathery, yellow, proximal tubercles +- = distal; base obtuse; spines 0--few, thin, early-deciduous. Seed: < 4 mm, generally sterile. Chromosomes: 2n=22,33.
Ecology: Rocky fans, benches, creosote-bush scrub; Elevation: < 1000 m. Bioregional Distribution: DMoj (Kelso Dunes), DSon; Distribution Outside California: southern Nevada, Arizona, northern Mexico. Flowering Time: Mar--May Note: Generally reproduces by rooting of detached stem segments.
Synonyms: Opuntia bigelovii Engelm.
eFlora Treatment Author: Marc Baker, Bruce D. Parfitt & Jon Rebman
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botanical illustration including Cylindropuntia bigelovii


Citation for this treatment: Marc Baker, Bruce D. Parfitt & Jon Rebman 2016. Cylindropuntia bigelovii, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 04, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 04, 2016.

Cylindropuntia bigelovii
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© 2012 Neal Kramer
Cylindropuntia bigelovii
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© 2013 California Academy of Sciences
Cylindropuntia bigelovii
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© 2008 Christopher L. Christie
Cylindropuntia bigelovii
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© 2012 Keir Morse
Cylindropuntia bigelovii
click for enlargement
© 2013 California Academy of Sciences
Cylindropuntia bigelovii
click for enlargement
© 2012 Neal Kramer

More photos of Cylindropuntia bigelovii in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Cylindropuntia bigelovii:
DMoj (Kelso Dunes), DSon;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.