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Types of Cactus in Arizona

Beavertail Cactus
Beavertail Cactus

Beavertail Cactus Opuntia basilaris. This low, spreading cactus with short bristles grows 6 to 12 inches high and up to 6 feet wide. The gray-green, jointed stems are wide and flat resembling the tail of a beaver. Oval in shape, the stems are 1 to 6 inches wide and 2 to 13 inches long.

source: desertusa.com
image: kaibab.org
California Barrel Cactus
California Barrel Cactus

Barrel cactus usually grow along desert washes, gravely slopes and beneath desert canyon walls in all of the hot desert of North America from the Mojave, Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts of southern California, southern Arizona west to Texas and south into Baja, California and central Mexico.

source: desertusa.com
Chollas
Chollas

Cholla cactus represent more than 20 species of the Opuntia genus (Family Cactacea) in the North American deserts. Cholla is a term applied to various shrubby cacti of this genus with cylindrical stems composed of segmented joints. These stems are actually modified branches that serve several functions -- water storage, photosynthesis and flower production.

source: desertusa.com
Christmas Cactus
Christmas Cactus

The real Christmas cactus with red winter fruit and a green stem is a native of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts. It is a variety of cholla, Opuntia leptocaulis.

Coryphantha
Coryphantha

Cacti of Arizona - descriptions and photographs of the most common species, including carnegia, coryphantha, cylindropuntia, echinocactus, echinocereus, echinomastus, escobaria, ferocactus, grusonia, mammillaria, opuntia, pachycereus, pediocactus, peniocereus, sclerocactus and stenocereus

Cylindropuntia Acanthocarpa
Cylindropuntia Acanthocarpa

Cacti of west and southwest USA: cylindropuntia acanthocarpa, buckhorn cholla, a common, shrub-like species of southeast California, Arizona, southeast Utah and southwest Nevada

image: delange.org
Echinocereus
Echinocereus

Cacti of Arizona - descriptions and photographs of the most common species, including carnegia, coryphantha, cylindropuntia, echinocactus, echinocereus, echinomastus, escobaria, ferocactus, grusonia, mammillaria, opuntia, pachycereus, pediocactus, peniocereus, sclerocactus and stenocereus

image: flickr.com
Echinocereus Coccineus
Echinocereus Coccineus

Echinocereus coccineus is a variant of the more widespread, generally larger but otherwise very similar echinocereus triglochidiatus, characterised by sprawling clusters, bright red/orange flowers with green stigma and rounded petals, low to medium spine cover and somewhat flabby stems.

Echinocereus Fendleri
Echinocereus Fendleri

Echinocereus fendleri var. rectispinus (Peebles) L. Benson [1,2,3,12,18,19,20,30,43,53], right-angled spine hedgehog cactus In this review, varieties are referred to by their common names, and "pinkflower hedgehog cactus" refers to the species as a whole.

source: fs.fed.us
image: flickr.com
Escobaria Vivipara
Escobaria Vivipara

Escobaria vivipara, South Rim, Grand Canyon, Arizona Apart from some opuntia, escobaria vivipara (formerly classed as coryphantha vivipara) is the most widespread cactus in the US; the species has good frost tolerance and has adapted to a wide range of habitats, from Mexico all the way north to Canada, where it is one of only four cactus species in the country.

Jumping Cholla
Jumping Cholla

The cholla (pronounced choy-a) is perhaps the most feared and hated cacti in the southwest desert. If you brush up against one, you will know why. The plant has pads that separate easily from the main stem. The spines easily attach to your clothing, your skin, your shoes.

image: delange.org
Mammillaria
Mammillaria

Mammillaria thornberi, Thornber's pincushion cactus (AZ) Mammillaria viridiflora, green flowered pincushion cactus (AZ, NM) Mammillaria wrightii, Wright's nipple cactus (AZ, NM, TX)

Opuntia Chlorotica
Opuntia Chlorotica

Opuntia chlorotica is a species of plant in the Cactaceae family. It is a species of prickly pear native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Its common names include pancake prickly pear, flapjack prickly pear and dollarjoint prickly pear.

Opuntia Macrocentra
Opuntia Macrocentra

Opuntia macrocentra is easily recognized by its purple pads, a color that becomes more pronounced after long periods without rainfall. The species tends to have dark (sometimes light) spines that grow preferentially from the top of the pads, but it is prone to hybridization, giving rise to a more uniform covering of spines, and less even purple coloration. Occasionally spines are absent, and when present are quite variable in both number (1 to 15) and length (1 to 4 inches).

image: delange.org
Organ Pipe Cactus
Organ Pipe Cactus

Look closely. Look again. The sights and sounds of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, an International Biosphere Reserve, reveal a thriving community of plants and animals. Human stories echo throughout this desert preserve, chronicling thousands of years of desert living.

source: nps.gov
Pachycereus Schottii
Pachycereus Schottii

Senita - pachycereus schottii, in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument The senita (pachycereus schottii) is by far the rarest of Arizona's big three cacti (the others being saguaro and organ pipe), since it cannot tolerate even the slightest frost.

image: delange.org
Parodia Magnifica
Parodia Magnifica

Browse pictures and read growth / cultivation information about Ball Cactus (Parodia magnifica) ... Phoenix, Arizona. Scottsdale, Arizona. Tucson, Arizona.

Prickly Pear
Prickly Pear

Most prickly pear cactus have yellow, red or purple flowers, even among the same species. They vary in height from less than a foot (Plains, Hedgehog, Tuberous) to 6 or 7 feet (Texas, Santa Rita, Pancake). Pads can vary in width, length, shape and color.

source: desertusa.com
Saguaro
Saguaro

The saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) is one of the defining plants of the Sonoran Desert. These plants are large, tree-like columnar cacti that develop branches (or arms) as they age, although some never grow arms. These arms generally bend upward and can number over 25.

Sclerocactus
Sclerocactus

Below is a list of all cacti found in Arizona; the main species first, those with a photograph and full description page, followed by all other species, generally less common.

Silver Cholla
Silver Cholla

Cylindropuntia Echinocarpa. Like other cholla from the hot deserts of Arizona and California, the green stems of cylindropuntia echinocarpa are covered by a very dense mass of sharp, easily-detached spines, here silver or golden in color, and the plant forms large clumps several feet high, centered on a short, thick trunk.

image: mdmpix.com
Southwestern Barrel Cactus
Southwestern Barrel Cactus

Barrel cacti prominently populate the southwest deserts. Certain species reach 3 feet in height. As the name implies, this cactus is stout and thickly built with well-defined ribs running up and down the plant.

Strawberry Hedgehog Cactus
Strawberry Hedgehog Cactus

Strawberry Hedgehog Cactus The Strawberry Hedgehog Cactus is a fruit-bearing cactus with beautiful, bright magenta flowers which bloom in the spring. It commonly grows in desert areas of the southwestern United States in the Sonora Desert regions, and usually grows in clusters, sometimes up to 20 or more stems.

Teddy-Bear Cholla
Teddy-Bear Cholla

Cholla cactus represent more than 20 species of the Opuntia genus (Family Cactacea) in the North American deserts. Cholla is a term applied to various shrubby cacti of this genus with cylindrical stems composed of segmented joints.

source: desertusa.com
image: flickr.com
Texas Prickly-Pear
Texas Prickly-Pear

Prickly Pear Cactus in bloom © Arizona Sky Village (all rights reserved; used by permission). Official State Plant of Texas The prickly pear cactus was designated the official plant symbol of Texas in 1995.

image: delange.org
Tree Cholla
Tree Cholla

Cholla cactus represent more than 20 species of the Opuntia genus (Family Cactacea) in the North American deserts. Cholla is a term applied to various shrubby cacti of this genus with cylindrical stems composed of segmented joints. These stems are actually modified branches that serve several functions -- water storage, photosynthesis and flower production.

source: desertusa.com
Violet Pricklypear
Violet Pricklypear

Cacti of west and southwest USA: opuntia gosseliniana, violet prickly pear, found only in Pima County, south Arizona

image: flickr.com

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