Cylindropuntia Species, Coastal Cholla, Jumping Cholla

Cylindropuntia prolifera

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cylindropuntia (sil-in-drop-UN-shee-uh) (Info)
Species: prolifera (pro-LEEF-er-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Opuntia prolifera


Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Bloom Color:


Magenta (pink-purple)

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Glendale, Arizona

Hereford, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

San Diego, California

Valley Center, California

Ventura, California

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 5, 2019, donna0419 from Irvine, CA wrote:

I fell upon a small Coastal Cholla cactus plant on July 16, 2015 and have been suffering from skin lesions since. I don't understand why anyone would want this plant? Many countries have deemed it to be a dangerous weed and must be reported if seen to be destroyed. I understand completely why we should also do the same. I would post pictures of my arms and legs to prove my point, but can't see how to do that on this blog. If anyone has ever experienced a similar reaction to this plant please feel free to contact me at d[email protected] Thanks, Donna


On Apr 29, 2015, Kell from (Zone 9b) wrote:

Per Jan Emming owner of the Destination:Forever Ranch and Gardens, a 40 acre desert botanical garden and sustainable living homestead in the Arizona desert with a nursery:

Coastal cholla (Cylindropuntia prolifera) is found in southern California and northwestern Baja, Mexico. True to the common name, it usually grows within about 20 miles of the Pacific Ocean, and frequently right on the dunes or bluffs just inland from the beach or shoreline in a habitat called coastal sage scrub. The species is thought to be of hybrid origin, with the parents being C. cholla and C. alcahes. Oddly enough, the hybrid coastal cholla occupies a significantly different range and habitat type from either one of its parents, tending to grow both closer to the cool marine waters and also farther n... read more


On Jul 18, 2010, Baja_Costero from Baja California,
Mexico (Zone 11) wrote:

Resident of coastal northwestern Baja California. Plant grows mostly sideways, somewhat upward, in a shrub-like fashion. Lots of branching, short stems. Not so much organized around a main stem. Seems to spread efficiently by "jumping".

Extremely painful barbed spines on this plant. Not recommended for areas with children or pets.