Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Teddy Bear Cholla, Cholla Guera, Golden-Spined Jumping Cholla
Cylindropuntia bigelovii

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cylindropuntia (sil-in-drop-UN-shee-uh) (Info)
Species: bigelovii (big-eh-LOV-ee-eye) (Info)

Synonym:Cylindropuntia bigelovii var. bigelovii
Synonym:Cylindropuntia ciribe
Synonym:Opuntia bigelovii
Synonym:Opuntia ciribe

7 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings
From softwood cuttings
Allow cut surface to callous over before planting
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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2 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive smurfwv On Sep 18, 2010, smurfwv from Cabin Creek, WV (Zone 6a) wrote:

I think this is the cutest cactus, but wish the local stores/nurseries offered it for sale. I was able to find someone who had it in their yard who sent me 3 pieces. The cactus is really nice, however the stickers are barbed at the tip and hurt pulling out. ABSOLUTELY wear gloves when handling this one, you'll regret it later.

Positive DMersh On Oct 5, 2009, DMersh from Perth
United Kingdom (Zone 7b) wrote:

Difficult to grow to the sort of appearance seen in the wild, it has an extremely high light requirement, in order to produce that sort of spination. Growers in more temperate regions will probably find it grows as a much shorter spined plant that bears only a vague resemblance to the densely spined wild plants.

Neutral Xenomorf On Nov 21, 2006, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

I've seen this growing in the wild surrounding Phoenix, and on the 'El Camino Del Diablo Trail' (Devils' Highway) that runs between Ajo and Wellton, Arizona in the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.
Also seen these growing in the wild on the West Ruby Road Trail in Arizona (South of Tucson), off of Interstate 19 through to Ruby, AZ and on to Arivaca, AZ.

Neutral smiln32 On Nov 9, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Densely spined, sometimes exceeding 8 per areole. Flower is 1 1/2" in diameter and varies in color. Grows in CA, AZ and other desert to rocky areas.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Ajo, Arizona
Green Valley, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Salome, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Wellton, Arizona
Hayward, California
Lucerne Valley, California
San Diego, California
Twentynine Palms Base, California
Cabin Creek, West Virginia

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