Cylindropuntia ramosissima (Engelm.) F.M. Knuth
Opuntia ramosissima Engelm.
Diamond cholla, diamond-plated pencil cholla, branched pencil cholla
Diamond cholla is so named because the pattern of bumps (technically tubercules) along the stem segments is diamond-shaped. The “pencil” in other common names refers to the narrow, pencil-like stems.
Identification: Diamond cholla is multiply branched, resembling either a shrub or a small tree, 20-79" (50-200 cm) tall. Stem segments are ¾-4" (2-10 cm) long, and only ⅛-⅜" (4-10 mm) in diameter. Unusually long spines ⅞-2" (2.5-6 cm) long occur in groups of one to five. The spine groups are widely spaced, and the spines are tan to reddish brown or deep purple, and finally to gray. Flowers are brown, tinged with red; sometimes orange or pink. Fruits or oval-shaped, tan, ½-1" (1.5-3 cm) × ⅜-½" (1-1.5 cm).
Cylindropuntia ramosissima on Desert-tropicals.com
Cylindropuntia ramosissima on SEINet—the Southwest Environmental Information Network
Cylindropuntia ramosissima at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum Sonoran Desert Digital Library
Cylindropuntia ramosissima on Wayne's Word
Cylindropuntia ramosissima on CactiGuide.com
Cylindropuntia ramosissima at the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association
Cylindropuntia ramosissima from the Jepson Manual
Cylindropuntia ramosissima on eFloras
Cylindropuntia ramosissima description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.
Range: Zones 8a-11: