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Coastal Cholla
Cylindropuntia prolifera

About Coastal Cholla (Cylindropuntia prolifera) Coastal Cholla is a native shrub in the cactus family that grows in Southern California, primarily in the South Coast and Channel Islands regions. It tends to grow in ocean bluffs, at elevations from 0-1000 feet. Has magenta flowers that bloom in the spring.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Shrub, Succulent

Max. Height
10 ft (3 m)

Max. Width
1 - 5 ft (0.3 - 1.5 m)


Spines up to 2 cm long

Flower Color
Purple, Red

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Ocean bluffs, inland

Part Shade, Sun

Elevation ?
3' - 1538'

Annual Precip. ?
8.1" - 17.9"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 0.41"

Coldest Month ?
49.5° F - 57.1° F

Hottest Month ?
62.5° F - 80.3° F

Humidity ?
1.44 vpd - 27.33 vpd

Soil Description
Prefers sand or sandstone

Soil Texture

Soil PH
6.1 - 7.8


Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 15° F

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

Companion Plants
Other dry-loving plants of Southern California such as Coyote Bush (Baccharis pilularis), Purple Three Awn (Aristida purpurea) or Coulter's Matilija Poppy (Romneya coulteri)

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

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

Rarely Used

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Propagation ?
From stem cuttings or from seed (although seeds from fruits may be sterile).

Common uses
Hedges, Bird Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Opuntia prolifera

Common Names
Cholla Prolifera

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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