Click on image for full screen view.

Klein Cholla, Tasajillo, Candle Cholla
Opuntia kleiniae


Limestone rocky hills of desert areas at 3000 to 4000 feet in the Trans-Pecos and desert shrub along the Rio Grande, west through New Mexico and Arizona, and into Mexico are the preferred habitat of Klein cholla. This open-crowned, sprawling, slender plant with cylindrical branches is nearly trunkless. Its older stems become woody. The terminal branches have noticeable tubercles bearing greyish or pink spines less than one inch long, which may be single or four to a cluster. Pinkish to lavender flowers produce long persistent red fruit which is also strongly tubercled, spineless, fleshy and a bit juicy. The Klein cholla's traits vary greatly over a large area: those in the Davis Mountains are somewhat different from those near the Rio Grande. A typical form is hard to determine; perhaps more than one taxon exists in the Trans-Pecos. So some experts espouse additional taxonomic study.

Plant Habit or Use: small shrub
medium shrub

Exposure: sun

Flower Color: red to pinkish - purple or lavender

Blooming Period: spring

Fruit Characteristics: reddish orange to green and red, smooth, fleshy

Height: 2 to 6.5 feet

Width: 2 to 3 feet

Plant Character: evergreen

Heat Tolerance: very high

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: neutral

USDA Hardiness Zone: 8

Additional Comments:

| Index of Scientific Names | Index of Common Names | Photo Gallery Index |