Cylindropuntia imbricata var. imbricata

Synonyms: Cactus cylindricus James Opuntia arborescens Engelmann Opuntia vexans Griffiths
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 4. Treatment on page 113. Mentioned on page 107, 110, 112.

Trees, with short trunks, openly branched, 3(–5) m. Stem segments 12–40 cm; tubercles widely spaced. Spines and sheaths usually tan to dirty white or ± yello, sometimes absent. 2n = 22.

Phenology: Flowering spring–summer (May–Aug).
Habitat: Deserts, grasslands, pinyon-juniper woodlands, hills, plains
Elevation: (800-)1100-1800(-2200) m


V4 213-distribution-map.gif

Ariz., Colo., Kans., N.Mex., Okla., Tex., Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas).


A dominant cholla of the Chihuahuan Desert, Cylindropuntia imbricata var. imbricata is wide- ranging and variable in several characters; it is generally shorter and more spiny northward (there often referred to as Opuntia arborescens). The species appears to be spreading northeastward in Oklahoma and Kansas as a result of cattle ranching activities. In Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico, var. imbricata intergrades with C. spinosior. Northward, var. imbricata hybridizes with C. whipplei (= C. ×viridiflora).

Selected References


Lower Taxa

Donald J. Pinkava +
(Haworth) F. M. Knuth +
Cereus imbricatush +
Ariz. +, Colo. +, Kans. +, N.Mex. +, Okla. +, Tex. +, Mexico (Chihuahua +, Coahuila +, Durango +, Nuevo León +, San Luis Potosí +, Tamaulipas +  and Zacatecas). +
(800-)1100-1800(-2200) m +
Deserts, grasslands, pinyon-juniper woodlands, hills, plains +
Flowering spring–summer (May–Aug). +
in C. Backeberg and F. M. Knuth, Kaktus-ABC, +
Illustrated +
Cactus cylindricus +, Opuntia arborescens +  and Opuntia vexans +
Cylindropuntia imbricata var. imbricata +
Cylindropuntia imbricata +
variety +