Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Silver Cholla

The silver cholla, the specimen below photographed in Joshua Tree National Park,
also known as the gold or golden cholla, the specimen below photographed on the Chuckwalla Bench, are of the same species, but look different and grow in different areas. The only difference is that one has silver spines and the other has golden spines.
It is a bushy, short-trunked species that has many short terminal joints at the ends of longer ones.
The stem is tuberculated and the tubercles are elliptical, about twice as long as wide.
This close-up of a stem from the above silver cholla, found in the East Fork of Mission Creek in the San Bernardino Mountains, shows the tubercules.
It can also have deciduous cactus leaves. See the small green leaves coming out of the stem from the same cactus above.
The silver cholla has greenish yellow flowers with slight reddish tips on the petals. This silver cholla was found in the San Felipe Hills.
A closer view of a flower just opening up.
Open flowers.
Flowers from a silver cholla found in Whitewater Canyon near Red Dome.

Other examples of silver cholla. This one was found in Joshua Tree National Park.
This golden cholla was also found in Joshua Tree National Park.
This silver cholla was found in the San Felipe Hills.
And finally, this silver cholla was found in Borrego Palm Canyon in Anza Borrego Desert State Park.

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