(Engelm. & Bigelow) F.M.Knuth
Opuntia echinocarpa — Engelm. & Bigelow
C. echinocarpa is native to the Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico, where it can be found the Sonoran Desert, the Mojave Desert, and Colorado Desert in California and other states. 
Silver cholla is a large, tree-like cactus which may exceed 2 m (6.6 ft) in height. Its stems and branches are made up of cylindrical green tubercles (segments) up to 1.5 cm wide and just under 1.0 cm tall. The fleshy tubercles each bear up to 20 long, straight, grayish or yellowish spines which may be nearly 4 cm long. The width of the tubercles is less than twice the length, which helps to distinguish it from buckhorn cholla (Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa), which occurs in a similar geographical distribution.
The flowers are usually greenish yellow, sometimes pinkish or brownish in color. The fruit is lumpy, spiny, and tan in color, with white seeds and a foul scent, reminiscent of rancid butter. It measures up to two centimeters long. Very few fruits reach maturity, and many immature fruits can often be seen lying on the ground below.
- USDA: Cylindropuntia echinocarpa . accessed 3.23.2013
- Mojave Desert Wildflowers, Pam MacKay, 2nd ed., p 223, 266
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cylindropuntia echinocarpa.|
- Cylindropuntia echinocarpa account from ARS Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN)
- USDA Plants Profile for Cylindropuntia echinocarpa (Wiggins' cholla)
- Jepson Manual Treatment — Cylindropuntia echinocarpa
- Flora of North America
- Cylindropuntia echinocarpa Photo gallery
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