Cylindropuntia spinosior 

Cylindropuntia spinosior - Cane Cholla
Frying Pan Canyon, Cooke's Range, NM
May 17, 2018

The beautiful flower of the Cane Cholla, Cylindropuntia spinosior gives way to a yellow fruit, see photos below. 

This species grows throughout the Black Range, reaching the 8,500 foot level in many places. The BONAP range map for this species, within the United States is shown to the right.  It is also found in Chihuahua and Sonora.

This species hybridizes with other Cylindropuntia species, especially C. acanthocarpa, C. arbuscula, C. fulgida, and C. leptocaulis.

This species was originally described as Opuntia whipplei by Engelmann and Bigelow, then as a variety (O. w. spinosior) by Englemann in 1856. Tourney later upgraded it to a full species O. spinosior and then as a variety O. s. var. neomexicana.  Knuth later placed it in the current genus Cylindropuntia.

The Pima and Papago Indians pit baked the buds, fruits, and joints of this species and considered it a staple food.  The indigenous peoples of this area undoubtedly did the same.

Several bird species like to build nests in this cholla species because of the obvious protection which it offers.  Most are empty when you look at them, but even if they are not identification of the bird species can be difficult if you do not see the adult.  That is assuming you see the nestling, in the photo at the bottom, the eye of the nestling is at the head of the white arrow.





South of Hillsboro
Immediately above and below


Immediately above and all below
East of Hillsboro, New Mexico



IMG_1238

Immediately above and below - Several bird species like to build nests in this cholla species because of the obvious protection which it offers.  Most are empty when you look at them, but even if they are not identification of the bird species can be difficult if you do not see the adult.  That is assuming you see the nestling, in the photo at the bottom, the eye of the nestling is at the head of the white arrow.

nestling in cane cholla



© Robert Barnes 2018