Beware the Jumping Cholla (Cylindropuntia bigelovii)

Cylindropuntia bigelovii (Teddy Bear Cholla)Ah, the Teddy Bear Cholla.  Cylindropuntia bigelovii, as the plant people like to call it.  There are about 25-35 species in the Cylindropuntia family, all of which are native to the Southwest and Northern Mexico and about half of which are threatened and endangered.

But this little guy is not cute and cuddly.  Come upon a field of these while walking through the desert, and they’ll attach themselves to you.  So I call all Chollas Jumping Cholla.

But as I understand it, Frank Lloyd Wright had an even better name for them:  Blonde Bitches of the Desert.  I don’t recommend this search on Google.

I haven’t seen these in cultivation.  Then again, I haven’t looked.  But if you can find them, they’d be an excellent addition to a natural desert garden.


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