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Vascular Plants of California
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Cylindropuntia bernardina

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.
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.
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
Reference: Baker & Cloud-Hughes 2014 Madroño 61:231--243; Mayer et al. 2011 Madroño 58:106--112
Unabridged Reference: Pinkava 2002 Succ Pl Res 6:59--98; Rebman & Pinkava 2001 Florida Entomol 84:474--483
Cylindropuntia bernardina (Parish) M.A. Baker, Cloud-H. & Rebman
Habit: Plant < 3 m. Stem: trunks several to many; main branches erect; terminal segments generally 16--40 cm, 1.7--4 cm diam, firmly attached; tubercle 16--35 mm, < 7 mm high. Spines: 0--20, generally < 3.5 cm, yellow to orange-brown, sheath translucent white to gold-brown. Flower: inner perianth < 3 cm, yellow to yellow-green, generally with purple tips; filaments green. Fruit: leathery to slow-drying, proximal tubercles >> distal; base generally acute; spines 0--many. Seed: < 7 mm, generally fertile. Chromosomes: 2n=22.
Ecology: Chaparral, pinyon/juniper woodland; Elevation: 700--1900 m. Bioregional Distribution: sw SnJV (Cuyama Valley), s SCoRO (Cuyama River Canyon), PR, w DSon; Distribution Outside California: northern Baja California. Flowering Time: Apr--Jul Note: Densely spined forms can be confused with Cylindropuntia ganderi; more closely related to C. ganderi than to C. californica_(Majure et al. 2019), where included in TJM2, as C. californica var. parkeri.
Synonyms: Opuntia parryi Engelm.; Opuntia parryi var. parryi; Opuntia californica (Torr. & A. Gray) Coville var. parkeri (J.M. Coult.) Pinkava; Opuntia echinocarpa var. parkeri J.M. Coult.; Cylindropuntia californica var. parkeri (J.M. Coult.) Pinkava; Opuntia bernardina Parish
Jepson eFlora Author: Marc Baker, Bruce D. Parfitt & Jon Rebman
Reference: Baker & Pinkava 2018 Haseltonia 25:5--29; Majure et al. 2019 Amer J Bot 106:1327--1345
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa var. acanthocarpa
Next taxon: Cylindropuntia bigelovii

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Botanical illustration including Cylindropuntia bernardina

botanical illustration including Cylindropuntia bernardina

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Citation for this treatment: Marc Baker, Bruce D. Parfitt & Jon Rebman 2022, Cylindropuntia bernardina, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, Revision 10,, accessed on May 21, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 21, 2024.

No expert verified images found for Cylindropuntia bernardina.

Geographic subdivisions for Cylindropuntia bernardina:
sw SnJV (Cuyama Valley), s SCoRO (Cuyama River Canyon), PR, w DSon
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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).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).