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Jumping Cholla
Cylindropuntia bigelovii

About Jumping Cholla (Cylindropuntia bigelovii) The teddy-bear cholla (Cylindropuntia bigelovii) is a cactus native to California and Arizona (USA) and northwestern Mexico. They grow in desert regions at elevations from 30 to 1100 meter (100 to 3600 feet). It is an attractive plant, having a soft appearance due to its solid mass of very formidable spines that completely cover the stems. From a distance, the stems appear soft and fuzzy, giving it the name "teddy bear". The teddy-bear cholla is an erect plant, standing 0.3-2 meter (1-5 feet) tall with a distinct trunk. The branches are at the top of the trunk and are nearly horizontal. Lower branches typically fall off, and the trunk darkens with age. The silvery-white spines, which are actually a form of leaf, almost completely obscure the stem with a fuzzy-looking, but impenetrable, defense. The spines are 2.5 centimeter (1") long and are covered with a detachable, paper-like sheath.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Shrub, Succulent

Max. Height
1 - 7 ft (0.3 - 2.1 m)

Flower Color

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Rocky fans, benches, with creosote bush


Elevation ?
449' - 3343'

Annual Precip. ?
3.9" - 14.1"

Summer Precip. ?
0.65" - 2.56"

Coldest Month ?
44.9° F - 63.2° F

Hottest Month ?
72.8° F - 87.6° F

Humidity ?
3.19 vpd - 39.90 vpd

Sunset Zones ?
10, 11, 12*, 13*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22, 23, 24

Landscaping Information
Common uses
Hedges, Deer Resistant

Nursery Availability
Rarely Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Opuntia bigelovii,Cylindropuntia bigelovii var. bigelovii

Common Names
Teddy-bear Cholla, Teddybear Cholla

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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