A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Jumping Cholla


This is just one variety of thirty-five species of cholla cactus.  The name for this particular cholla comes from the fact that you could actually swear that part of the plant jumped out onto your shoe, pants leg or shirt for you cannot recall brushing up against it.  But just the merest touch of the plant and a section will break off and attach itself.  I have had it happen numerous times.

Cholla cactus are particularly nasty.  
The spines have microscopic barbs on them which makes it quite painful to remove. 

Not my hand.  Internet photo.

Close up of the spine.

Microscopic view

It has pink and white flowers with lavender streaks running through them.  They flower in mid-summer and I learned that they open up at 3 p.m. solar time.  You can set your watch to that.  I did not know that.  I couldn’t find the flower online.  This is the flower to the Teddy Bear cholla.

The plant grows to four feet tall.  The plant propagates with sections that break off falling to the ground and a tendril will come out and take root.  I have seen dense impenetrable forests of cholla with a carpet of cholla parts littering the ground.  One place we stayed Beans got some stuck to her paw.  Try to imagine holding down a cat and trying to remove a barbed cholla spine.

Amazingly cactus wren are able to nest within a cholla cactus.

Now the good part about cholla.
When they die, they leave behind a really cool skeleton.

We have some decorating our home.
Online you can find them for sale like on Etsy, Ebay and more.

- comment replies -

The barrel cactus can grow three to six feet tall. The one I had a photo of was just under three feet.

Barbara, in case you missed them a couple people left a comment on the new eBook post about how to download the books with an app that might help you with the problem you were having.


Barbara Rogers said...

Poor cow...I dare say he know not to try to move them with his nose. THanks for the info on reading after downloading your books. Since those hints came after I'd commented, I didnn't know about them till now. But now I can try both of them!!

Shammickite said...

The dry cholla looks like snakes.... very cool.

Toc said...

I keep a 4"cholla stem in my camera bag--they can spiff up a lackluster wildflower shot.

Debby said...

Boy oh boy. That looks like an awful plant to tangle with.