Overview

Distribution

Global Range: It occurs in California on Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa, San Nicolas, Santa Catalina, and San Clemente islands; and on southern mainland near ocean from Ventura southward; rarely inland as far as San Fernando and Fall-brook. It also occurs in Mexico.

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Range Description

The species is reported from the Mexican state of Baja California and the US state of California (Hunt et al. 2006). It is also recorded from the Channel islands and on Guadelupe Island (Mexico). The species occurs at elevations from 0 to 300 m asl.
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Calif.; Mexico (Baja California).
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Shrubs or small trees, erect, 0.6-2.5 m. Stem segments easily detached, whorled or sub-whorled, green-gray, 4-15 × 3.5-5 cm; tubercles prominent, broadly oval, 1.5-2.5 cm; areoles subcircular to obovate, 4-7 × 3-5 mm; wool tan, aging brown to black. Spines 6-12 per areole, in all but proximalmost areoles, spreading, usually deflexed in abaxial ones, pale red-brown to dark brown, acicular, the longest to 2 cm; sheaths pale yellow-brown, shiny. Glochids in adaxial crescent and few along margin of areole, yellow to brown, 0.5-2.5 mm. Flowers: inner tepals rose to magenta, to 20 mm; filaments yellow-green to distally tinted pink to magenta; anthers yellow, sometimes bearing stigma-tipped, stylelike appendages; style greenish yellow to often pink distally; stigma lobes yellow to white. Fruits usually sterile, often proliferating into short erect chains of 2-5 fruits, green, broadly ovoid to top-shaped, 21-25(-35) × 20-32 mm, fleshy, smooth to shallowly tuberculate, spineless; umbilicus broadly shallow, 5-7 mm deep; areoles (20-)25-35. Seeds rare, globose; girdle smooth. 2n = 22, usually 33.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Opuntia prolifera Engelmann, Amer. J. Sci. Arts, ser. 2, 14: 338. 1852
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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Fine soils of hills, flats, ocean bluffs, valleys, along seacoast at low elevations.

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species grows in coastal sage shrubland often on dunes.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Ocean bluffs, inland coastal sage flats, hills; to 300m.
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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80

Comments: Thirty EO's (Benson 1982).

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering spring (Apr-Jul).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G3 - Vulnerable

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Pinkava, D.J., Baker, M. & Puente, R.

Reviewer/s
Goettsch, B.K. & Superina, M.

Contributor/s

Justification
Cylindropuntia prolifera has a very wide range and is common in the Mexican parts of its range. There are declines in the US part of the range, but this is not sufficient to justify a threatened listing. This species is therefore listed as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
This is a common clonal species along the Mexican coast. However, in the US part of its range, the species is not as common and is declining.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Comments: Most cacti subject to horticultural collecting.

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Major Threats
In the US part of the range, the species is being impacted by urban expansion; however, in the Mexican part of its range, it is secure.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species occurs in a number of protected areas including Guadelupe and Santa Catalina. Research is needed to determine if this is a distinct species or a hybrid.
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Wikipedia

Cylindropuntia prolifera

Cylindropuntia prolifera, known by the common name Coastal cholla, is a species of cactus.

Description[edit]

Cylindropuntia prolifera is a mostly erect, treelike cactus which can approach 3 meters in maximum height. The gray-green segments are narrow and cylindrical, surfaced in fleshy tubercles bearing many brown or reddish spines up to 2 centimeters long. The flowers are reddish purple and often borne on the fruits of previous seasons. Fruits grow in chains of up to 5 and are green in color.

Distribution[edit]

Cylindropuntia prolifera is native to Southern California and Baja California, where it grows in coastal sage scrub, chaparral, and beach and bluff habitat. It occurs from Santa Barbara County south.[1]

See also[edit]

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Notes

Comments

Cylindropuntia prolifera is of hybrid origin; it occupies a habitat different from its putative parents, C. alcahes (F. A. C. Weber) F. M. Knuth and C. cholla (F. A. C. Weber) F. M. Knuth, two Mexican species.
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