Teddy Bear Cholla

A member of the Cactus Family.  Also known as silver cholla, teddybear cactus and jumping cholla.

Their joints detach very easily when brushed against, causing people to think that they "jump" off the plants.  Also, if you step on a joint it "jumps" and sticks to your leg.  Many people react automatically to the hurt and reach for the joint to pull it from their leg and it then "jumps" to their hand.

Its detached joints take root quickly resulting in dense thickets.  There are several thickets of these plants along the Scenic Drive.  

Pack rats carry spiny joints to nest sites, often creating a huge pile to discourage a potential predator such as a coyote.   Despite its long, sharp spines, cactus wrens favor this species and chain fruit cholla (also called jumping cholla) for nest sites.

They usually grow to about 5' in this area but can reach 9'.  Their joints are light green to bluish green, cylindrical; to 10" long, 2 1/2" in diameter. They form arms at the top of the main stem.

They bloom during February to May.  Their flowers are greenish to yellowish, egg-shaped.  The fruit grows to 3/4" in length and 3/8" wide.  Their spines are silvery to golden when young, black when old; dense, backward-facing barbs; to 1" long.

  Copyright 1996 All rights reserved.
Friends of the Scenic Drive, Division of the Greater Pinnacle Peak Association
Scottsdale, AZ 85255