Cylindropuntia leptocaulis

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Cylindropuntia leptocaulis
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Cactaceae
Genus: Cylindropuntia
Species: C. leptocaulis
Binomial name
Cylindropuntia leptocaulis

Opuntia leptocaulis DC.
Opuntia frutescens Engelm.

Cylindropuntia leptocaulis, the desert Christmas cactus, desert Christmas cholla, or tasajillo, is a cactus.


Cylindropuntia leptocaulis is widely distributed in deserts, grasslands, chaparral, and woodlands in the Southwestern United States and several states in Northern Mexico.


The shrubby Cylindropuntia leptocaulis plants reach .5 to 1.8 m (1.6 to 5.9 ft) tall, reaching the extreme height when supported within desert trees. Branches are narrow, 3–5 mm across. Spines 0-1 (occasionally as many as 3) at each areole. Flowers open in the late afternoon and are pale yellow or greenish yellow, with occasional red tips.[1]

Around December, the plant grows red berries that when consumed, can have an intoxicating effect.[citation needed]



  1. ^ Anderson, Edward F. (2001). The cactus family. Portland, Or: Timber Press. p. 210. ISBN 0-88192-498-9.

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