Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa)

(Fig. 01)
Picture Notes: This shot (Fig. 01) was taken on a hike through the Wee Thump Joshua Tree Wilderness Area along the Joshua Tree Highway on 02/24/2011. The cactus in (Fig. 02) was taken at the Techatticup Mining Camp off Nelson Road in Eldorado Canyon.

Description: The Buckhorn Cholla (Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa) is an upright, branched, cylindrical-stemmed cactus with long stem segments and yellow spines. This cholla is similar to Silver Cholla, but in Buckhorn Cholla, the mature stem segments generally are longer than 6 inches, while those of Silver Cholla are less than 4-inches long. A mature plant can be about 5 to 10 feet in high. Buckhorn Cholla is a common component of vegetation communities on well-drained sandy, gravelly, and rocky soils on upper bajadas and moderate slopes into the lower mountains in the Upper Sonoran  and Mojave Desert, up to about 5,000 feet. The chollas bloom in April or May and produce bright flowers to 2 1/4 inches wide that range in color from red, yellow, orange, pink, & purple to greenish or brownish. After flowering, the plants produce fruit. The fruit of the Buckhorn Cholla tends to be dry with long spines. The fruit falls from the plant after a few months.

(Fig. 02)