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Cylindropuntia californica var. parkeri

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About Cane Cholla (Cylindropuntia californica var. parkeri) Cane Cholla is one of the most common native species of cholla cactus in California. There are two recognized Varieties: Var. parkeri is found in desert transition chaparral adjacent to the low desert of San Diego County and northern Baja, northward to Santa Barbara County where it grows at elevations from 0-5,200 feet. Chollas tend to hybridize freely, and determinations of species and varieties can be difficult. Var. parkeri is generally distinguished by its erect habit and long, straight segments. The segments are usually 3-5 times longer than wide. The flowers are generally yellow, sometimes with streaks of green or orange. The fruit is dry and inedible.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Shrub, Succulent

Max. Height
5 - 10 ft (1.5 - 3 m)

Max. Width
5 - 10 ft (1.5 - 3.0 m)



Growth Rate


Flower Color
Yellow, Orange, Green

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Sandy areas in desert transition chaparral


Elevation ?
40' - 6303'

Annual Precip. ?
5.7" - 30.9"

Summer Precip. ?
0.19" - 2.95"

Coldest Month ?
34.3° F - 56.2° F

Hottest Month ?
63.2° F - 85.0° F

Humidity ?
1.82 vpd - 36.17 vpd

Soil Description
Sandy or decomposed granite


Sunset Zones ?
14, 16, 18, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Wildlife Attracted
Numerous insects are attracted to the flowers

Landscaping Information
Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low, Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Seldom Used

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water, 1x/month
No Summer Water
Keep moist


Propagation ?
Propagation of chollas is best accomplished by detaching segments and planting them in desired locations. Use caution because the spines are formidable.

Common uses
Hedges, Deer Resistant, Bird Gardens

Nursery Availability
Sometimes Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Opuntia parryi

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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