Teddy Bear Cholla


Scientific Name: Opuntia bigelovii, renamed to Cylindropuntia bigelovii

Common Name: Teddy Bear Cholla
Family: Cactaceae, Cactus Family

Duration: Perennial

Size: Up to 5 feet or more.
Growth Form: Tree, Shrub, subshrub; densely branched, branches much shorter than the trunk.
Leaves: Leaves modified into spines or glochids and emerging from areoles.
Flower Color: Pale yellow, pale green, greenish yellow, sometimes red-tipped; flowers about 1½, fruit is deciduous; the upper tubercles are larger than the lower tubercles.
Flowering Season: March to June and again in September.

Threatened/Endangered Information: Arizona, Opuntia bigelovii, Teddy Bear Cholla is salvage restricted.

Comments: Teddy Bear Cholla is often used in desert landscapes in rock gardens, as a barrier and as a featured specimen. Care must be taken not to over-water as the roots are subject to rot. Well drained soils are a must. The straw colored spiny joints of Teddy Bear Cholla easily detach from their parent plants and randomly fall to the ground by the dozens. The fallen segments take root in the soil, creating new plants.