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Common name: Walkingstick Cactus
Cylindropuntia spinosior (Engelm.) F.M.Knuth APNI*
Synonyms: Opuntia spinosior (Engelm.) Toumey APNI*
Opuntia whipplei var. spinosior Engelm. APNI*
Description: Shrub, compact, widely branching, 0.4–1.2 m high.
Stem segments firmly attached, whorled or subwhorled, green to purple, 5–23 cm long, 1.3–3.5 cm wide; tubercles crowded, pronounced, oval to narrowly oval, 0.5–1.2(-1.5) cm long; areoles broadly obdeltate to elliptic, 4.5–7 mm long, 2–4 mm wide; wool yellow to tan, aging gray to black. Spines (4-)6–18(-24) per areole, at most areoles, interlacing with spines of adjacent areoles, pale tan (rarely yellowish), pinkish to red-brown; abaxial spines erect to usually deflexed, terete, often flattened basally, 8–19 mm long; adaxial spines erect or spreading, subterete; ± bristlelike spines at areole abaxial margins; sheaths persisting, uniformly whitish, not baggy. Glochids in inconspicuous adaxial tuft, yellow to tan, aging gray, 1–2 mm long.
Flowers: inner tepals rose to red-purple, bronze-purple, or yellow, sometimes pale greenish yellow or whitish, spatulate, 18–35 mm long, emarginate-apiculate; filaments deep purple to pink-purple, sometimes green; anthers pale yellow; style white or pink to purple distally; stigma lobes white to cream.
Fruits rarely proliferating, yellow, sometimes tinged reddish to purplish, broadly cylindric, 20–50 × 17–30 mm, fleshy, strongly tuberculate, spineless; areoles 28–50(-62); tubercles longer in distal portion of fruit; umbilicus to 10 mm deep. Seeds pale yellow, suborbicular to oval in outline, flattened to warped, 4–5 × 3–4 mm, sides with 0–3 large depressions; girdle smooth.
Flowering: Flowers spring–early summer.
Distribution and occurrence: Far North Western Plains and North Western Plains; native to southern U.S.A. and Mexico.
Shrubby Eucalyptus woodland or Maireana pyramidata shrubland on red sandy soil.
NSW subdivisions: *NWP, *NFWP
Other Australian states: *Qld
Declared Noxious Weed
Text by B.J. Conn (2004)
Taxon concept: Donald J. Pinkava (2004)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.