PlantsChollas→Teddy Bear Cholla (Cylindropuntia bigelovii)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Teddy Bear Cholla
Give a thumbs up Cholla
Give a thumbs up Jumping Cholla
Give a thumbs up Ciribe
Give a thumbs up Cholla del Oso

Botanical names:
Cylindropuntia bigelovii Accepted
Opuntia bigelovii Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 8b -9.4 °C (15 °F) to -6.7 °C (20 °F)
Plant Height: 6 feet
Fruit: Showy
Other: Spineless
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Green
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Late winter or early spring
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Provides winter interest
Will Naturalize
Edible Parts: Fruit
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Needs specific temperature
Start indoors
Can handle transplanting
Other info: Fruit can take root and form a new plant without having to use its seeds; needs neutral soil pH
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Other: Easy to root from stem segments
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth


Photo gallery:
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Posted by Baja_Costero (Baja California - Zone 11b) on May 30, 2019 3:59 PM

Extra-spiny cholla which is as dangerous as it is ornamental. Do not consider planting this cactus anywhere near traffic, especially children or pets. The spines are quite sharp and barbed, like other chollas. The segments are easily detached and travel if given the chance, thus the name "jumping cholla". Removing the segments from the skin tends to be quite painful and can lead to further injury. Somebody thought the spines looked fuzzy and cuddly from a distance, thus the name teddy bear cholla, but that name is rather ironic given the nature of the beast. Plants in nature typically have a main stem that turns a dark color near the base. Plants in cultivation, not subjected to traffic, tend to be rather bushier near the base.

Flowers are pale yellow, green, white, or shades of red and appear in late winter and spring. Fruits are green to yellow and spineless, often sterile due to fertility problems with mostly triploid plants. From the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, as well as the Lower Colorado Desert in the rain shadow of far NE Baja California and far SE California. Var. ciribe (formerly its own species) is endemic to the Sierra La Giganta of Baja California Sur; it has fewer spines, more firmly attached segments, and proliferating fruit, relying more on sexual reproduction.

Roots are used medicinally by the Seri to make a diuretic tea. Fruits collect moisture from nighttime condensation and may provide a valuable source of water for birds during times of drought.

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Posted by KFredenburg (Black Hills, SD - Zone 5a) on Nov 12, 2020 8:30 PM

Range: southeastern California to western Arizona; south to northwestern Mexico. Additional info: the plant's spines stick instantly and hold tightly by means of minute, backwardly directed barbs.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Gymnocalycium? by Chrysichthys Nov 18, 2019 6:07 AM 8
Cactus and tender succulents chat 2017 by Dutchlady1 Jun 10, 2019 6:45 AM 1,215
Is this teddy bear cholla? by cahdg6891 Sep 21, 2016 6:28 PM 1

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