Cylindropuntia leptocaulis [Cactaceae]

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Scientific Name Cylindropuntia leptocaulis (Opuntia leptocaulis) USDA PLANTS Symbol CYLE8
Common Name Pencil Cactus, Desert Christmas Cactus ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 907718
Family Cactaceae (Cactus) SEINet
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Description Habitat: Rocky soils in deserts and semidesert areas and grasslands; often found among other shrubs; widespread up to 5000 ft.
Plant: Compact low shrub up to 4 ft. tall.
Pads & Spines: Long, thin cylindrical stems 1/4 to 1/2-inch in diameter, joints of primary stems 12 to 16 inches long, secondary terminal joints much shorter (1 to 3 inches long); spines usually only on primary stems, white to brown, one per areole and 1 to 2 inches long.
Inflorescence: Small, greenish-yellow flowers 3/8 to 3/4-inch across.
Fruit: Bright red, fleshy, pear-shaped or obovoid, 1/2 to 1 inch long; persistant throughout the winter.
Bloom Period: May to September.
References: "Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas" by Correll and Johnston, "Cacti of Texas" by Powell, Weedin and Powell and American Southwest.
BONAP Distribution Map

Texas Status:

© Tom Lebsack 2022