• Sunrise at the Cholla Cactus Garden

    Joshua Tree

    National Park California

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Cottonwood Trails Closed

    Trail access remains closed to Cottonwood Spring Oasis, Lost Palms Oasis, and Mastodon Peak. More »

  • Pinto Basin Road Under Construction; Expect 30+ Minute Travel Delays

    Visitors should expect 30+ minute waits when heading north and sound bound on the Pinto Basin Road. Due to construction activity around Cottonwood Visitor Center, additional waits of 30 minutes may be in place when leaving the visitor center parking lot. More »

  • Deteriorating conditions of Black Rock Canyon Road

    The road leading to Black Rock campground has deep potholes, is deeply rutted, and can be difficult to negotiate, especially in large vehicles. Please drive with caution.

Cacti / Desert Succulents

Silver Cholla Bloom
Silver Cholla Bloom
National Park Service
Hot temperatures pose special problems for cacti. Most leafy plants cool themselves during the day by opening their pores. The movement of water from stem to leaf to air keeps leaf temperatures from rising too high. Because their pores open only at night, cacti cannot take advantage of such transpirational cooling. They adapt to desert heat by internal mechanisms. Teddybear cholla, for instance, can withstand an air temperature of 138 degrees F. Most other plants would literally cook at this temperature, but teddybear cholla often rises 59 degrees F or more above the air temperature!

Cacti of Joshua Tree National Park

Coryphantha alversonii (cushion foxtail cactus)
Cylindropuntia bigelovii (teddybear cholla)
Cylindropuntia echinocarpa (silver cholla)
Cylindropuntia ramosissima (pencil cholla)
Echinocactus polycephalus (cottontop cactus)
Echinocereus engelmannii (hedgehog cactus)
Echinocereus mojavensis (Mojave mound cactus)
Ferocactus cylindraceus (California barrel cactus)
Grusonia parishii (matted cholla)
Mammillaria tetrancistra (common fishhook cactus)
Opuntia basilaris var. basilaris (beavertail pricklypear)
Opuntia chlorotica (dollarjoint pricklypear)
Opuntia phaeacantha (tulip pricklypear)
Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea (grizzlybear pricklypear)

Did You Know?

Mojave Mound Cactus Bloom

With nearly 750 species of vascular plants, Joshua Tree is renowned for its plant diversity. No wonder that when the area was first proposed for preservation in the early 1930s, the name suggested was Desert Plants National Park. More...