Teddy Bear Cholla (Cylindropuntia bigelovii)
The Teddy Bear Cholla is a unique and captivating cactus species known for its distinctive appearance and beautiful flowers. Despite its adorable-sounding name, the Teddy Bear Cholla possesses a formidable presence due to its spiny nature.
The Teddy Bear Cholla is a shrubby cactus that typically grows to a height of 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 meters). It has segmented stems covered in dense clusters of sharp, barbed spines. These spines are yellowish-brown or golden in color and give the cactus its fuzzy, teddy bear-like appearance.
The Teddy Bear Cholla produces vibrant, magenta-colored flowers that contrast beautifully with the spiny stems. The flowers are generally tubular and bloom at the ends of the cactus branches. They are typically about 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 centimeters) long and have numerous petals. The flowering period usually occurs in late spring or early summer.
Caution: While the Teddy Bear Cholla's appearance may be charming, it is important to exercise caution when encountering this cactus. The spines are easily detachable and have barbed hooks that can become embedded in skin or clothing. It is advised to admire the cactus from a safe distance and avoid physical contact.